Today is Pi day and Friday is St. Patrick's Day and the closest we're getting to a themed meal here at M&TM headquarters is kale pesto pizza rollups which are just barely a pizza "pie" and just barely green. Needs must.
We love pizza around these parts, but pizza doesn't always love us. First of all, it's bad for you. Second, it's a mess. A toddler with pizza grease and tomato sauce all over him is just a prelude to an APARTMENT with pizza grease and tomato sauce all over it. These rolls solve these problems: They're a bit healthier, using whole wheat pizza dough (pre-made from Whole Foods because my laziness is well documented on this blog), turkey salami, part-skim mozzarella, and kale pesto. But they really don't skimp on flavor. These rolls also keep well in the fridge or freezer as long as they're re-crisped well in the toaster or the oven before being eaten.
To get this cleaner, healthier version of pizza, you have to do a tiny bit more work than just slapping some sauce and cheese on a rolled out dough and popping it into the oven, though not much more. First, you have to roll the dough into a rectangle, which can take a bit of doing. Make sure your sauce layer is thin since overfilling the middles can cause the rolls to fall apart. You also want to be stingy with the cheese and salami (if using) for the same reason. But the rolling up means that you'll still get tons of cheese and toppings in each bite.
I took Sally from Sally's Baking Addiction's advice about refrigerating the dough and fillings for 30 minutes after rolling them into a log, but before cutting and cooking them, but I'm not completely sure it was necessary as I've made these without that extra step and found the rolls similarly loose. A few pieces of advice: Try to make this roll as tight as possible. Use your sharpest knife to cut the rolls and don't make them more than 1-inch wide. Also, feel free to tighten and crimp the outside layer of the dough as you transfer the cut pieces to the baking sheet.
1 store-bought or homemade whole wheat pizza dough
½ cup kale pesto (scant)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
4-5 oz Turkey salami or pepperoni
1/8 cup corn meal
Tomato sauce for dipping
Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking pan with parchment paper. Roll or press out the pizza dough on a separate piece of lightly floured parchment paper until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Spread a very thin layer of the kale pesto over top and make sure to get all the way to the edges of the dough. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Add salami or pepperoni if using.
Along the longer side, start rolling the dough as tightly as you can. Continue rolling until the dough and fillings form a log. Transfer the log and parchment paper to a baking pan and chill for 30 minutes (or not, see above note).
After chilling, cut 1-inch pieces from the roll and dip one cut side into the corn meal to prevent sticking. Place the cornmeal crusted side on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Once all the pieces are cut, sprinkle lightly with parmesan and bake for 15-18 minutes until the outsides are golden brown.
Yield: about 15 rolls