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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spinach Pizza with Crème Fraiche

While getting ready for vacation and having a million things to remember to pack, I didn't want to worry about food very much so we have been eating a lot of pizza, pasta, rice and salads.  It is a great opportunity to use the left over stuff in the fridge and in the pantry.  I enjoy trying to cook meals with what you have as it enforces creativity but the result can turn out to be a disaster sometimes or something "not so tasty".
This is a pizza I've learned from a very good friend, who lives very far away now.  I know she used to call this "Spanish pizza".  I'm not sure if it's the real name or only because she learned it from her Spanish friend.  I never forgot this pizza and I have been making it regularly.  It's so easy especially if you have a ready pizza dough or pastry.  I didn't have any so I made the dough this time.  This is a special pizza with no cheese and I recommend that you eat it cold or even the next day.  It tastes much better when it is colder, because you can feel the taste of the olives, olive oil, tomato and spinach more when cold.  The original version doesn't have any crème fraiche, but I have added it to make it a little bit softer and it made a great combination with spinach.  If you don't have any crème fraiche, then don't use it as it still tastes great without it.

(Makes about 2 round pizzas or one big square one - 2-3 portions)

Pizza dough:

1 1/2 cups of warm water
3 spoons of dry yeast
4 cups of flour (you can also use 2 cups of white flour and 2 cups of spelt or whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pizza topping:
2-3 tablespoons of crème fraiche
200-300 gram of fresh or frozen spinach
2-3 medium tomatoes diced
1 small onion chopped
1 clove of garlic crushed
A handful of olives with no seeds, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
freshly milled black pepper

Preparing the dough:
You need to prepare the dough 2 hours in advance.  If you have a ready made dough then skip to the next part for topping. 
Mix all the ingredients of the dough in a pan and kneed very well for about 10 minutes.  Cover it with a clean tea towel and leave it to rise for about 1 1/5 - 2 hours.  Eventually the dough should be doubled in size.  When it is ready, flatten the dough with a rolling pin on a flat surface.  You may need to dust the dough with a little bit of flour for this, but you can also roll it out directly on a baking paper to save time.  

First make the tomato sauce by sauteing the onions and garlic for few minutes in a pan with a table spoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Then add the tomatoes in and take it off the heat after few minutes.  The tomatoes shouldn't be too cooked.  Leave the tomato sauce to cool down for a while.
Next prepare the spinach by cooking them in a pan.  After they are cooked, make sure to drain the water from the spinach and leave it to cool.
When you have your pizza base ready and the ingredients are cooled down enough, start with spreading the crème fraiche over the pizza base with a spoon.  Then spread the spinach over and next, spread the tomato sauce over the spinach.  Last thing to put on top is the olives.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper over and put it in a preheated oven at 220° C(425° F) for about 15 minutes.  After you take it out of the oven, drizzle the 1 tablespoon of olive oil you have left over the pizza.
Eat it warm or cold but if you have some left overs, keep it in your fridge for the next day.  Believe me, you won't regret.


  1. I love pizza as a quick and easy meal that you can throw together from what you have on hand. The creme fraiche addition sounds awesome and perfect to pair with the other toppings! Have a fun vacation!

  2. I guess I could eat pizza every day. Thanks Joanne.