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3-Cheese Ciabatta Pizza with Kale and Sausage

I do not know where any of us would be without Chocolate Broccoli, here is another ridiculously tasy and healthy meal

I have an ever so slight obsession with bread.  Ok.  I lie.  It isn’t a slight obsession.  It is pure and down right shameful this girl’s adoration for bread of all kinds.   As a dietitian, I know what I’m supposed to have, enjoy, and limit myself to, and with my diagnosis of PCOS, the realization of my carbohydrate love has come full circle (a common side effect of the syndrome).  But, when I judge a restaurant on whether or not they have good bread or not > does that indicate a problem?

I love carbs of all kinds- but there is something about French bread, buttery dinner rolls, baguettes, oh- and crostini.. all those classify as simply divine in my (carb-loaded) book.  My tastebuds were pleased over a delicious vegetable hummus spread on crispy olive oil crostini we had the other night while the Fireman and me were enjoying an evening out- I could have been just fine to order another plate as my entree (I decided in the end that they have good bread, so we will dine there again).

When I came across a recipe that used the ease of French bread as the base for a pizza pie, I thought just one word- genius.

I am all about the ease of preparation these days.  With my ever protruding belly rudely getting in the way of everything I do, easier is better.  Now that I’m home full-time, I’m a little more open to suggestion of long ingredients lists and step by step- but these itty bitty’s are getting heavier by the day, and don’t leave much comfort in my back for very long- so I still look for easy, easy, and more easy.  Enter this recipe (and more like it, please!)

I chose to use ciabatta bread (another lover of my soul) as the base for my pizza- but you can for sure use any loaf you please- it all works out the same.  Chicken sausage and kale were the stars of the show here- how prevalent kale is this time of year, I couldn’t resist!  Rather than a tomato sauce I spread of mixture of part-skim ricotta, grated parm, and fresh herbs over the base of my bread, topped with cooked sausage and blanched kale- and the last of the promised three cheeses- fontina.

What is so great about this recipe is all the toppings are already cooked- so all it takes is a couple minutes in the 400 degree oven to make the cheese hot a bubbly and the ‘crust‘ just a bit crispy upon your first bite.  The options for this type of easy peasey pizza are endless- just go with it.

We did, 3 times this week already.

    Tomato sauce with veggies galore piled atop..
    Homemade basil pesto, part-skim mozzarella, hearts of palm, and shrimp..
    BBQ sauce, purple onion, gruyere cheese, sliced grilled chicken..

Don’t you just want a cheesy bread pizza bite?  You got it, Steve.

3-Cheese Ciabatta Pizza with Kale & Sausage

Yield: 6 servings


    1 (16-ounce) loaf ciabatta or French bread, cut in half horizontally
    10 - 12 Lacitano kale leaves, stems removed (about 3 cups, chopped)
    1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    2 (4-ounce) link sweet or spicy Italian chicken or turkey sausage
    2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
    3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded or sliced thin


Preheat oven to 400°.

In a large pot, bring a few inches of water to a boil, add salt. Add the kale and boil for 3 minutes. Drain the kale, then plunge it into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Shake dry and finely chop.

Remove casing from sausage. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble- about 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and thyme; season with salt and pepper.

Slather the cheese mixture evenly over both bread halves, then evenly top with the sausage, kale, and fontina. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan.

Place bread on a foil lined baking sheet and bake until kale leave crisp slightly and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 350; Fat: 15 g; Carbohydrate: 33 g; Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 20 g

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