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Spinach and Pepper-Jack Pizza
© Melanie Acevedo

Spinach and Pepper-Jack Pizza

  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST

Though not everyone is wild about spinach, just about everybody eats pizza. So here, mixed with peppery cheese and a bit of smoky bacon, is spinach that the whole world can love. Defrosted frozen spinach is quickest, but if you prefer fresh, sauté it in some of the bacon fat before topping the pizza.

  1. 8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
  2. 2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained, and squeezed dry
  3. 3/4 pound pepper-jack cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  6. 2 12-inch store-bought pizza shells, such as Boboli
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  1. Heat the oven to 425°. In a large nonstick frying pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the bacon, drained spinach, pepper jack, salt, and pepper and mix well. Brush the pizza shells with the oil. Divide the spinach mixture evenly between the two pizza shells and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.
  3. Bake the pizzas directly on the oven rack (for a crisper crust) or on two baking sheets until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
Notes If you want to use fresh spinach, remove the stems and then wash the leaves well and shred them. Cook the spinach in one tablespoon of the bacon fat over moderately high heat until just wilted, about two minutes. Squeeze out the excess liquid and then combine with the other ingredients, as in Step 2. Since fresh spinach cooks down to such a small amount, you will need about three pounds to equal the amount of frozen spinach used here. If you don't mind having less spinach on your pizza, one pound per shell is fine.

Suggested Pairing

This tomato-less pie needs a soft, fruity red with some tannin to balance the richness of the cheese. Choose a basic Australian Shiraz for its plum and cassis flavors with hints of black pepper.