This pizza is my tribute to a great musician. At the same time it’s also my tribute to an awesome vegetable that I was happily just introduced to.
One thing I always loved about The Band, of which Robbie Robertson was an integral—and Canadian—part, was the way they took traditional sounds, styles, and instruments and used them in non-traditional ways.
Likewise, what I like about kohlrabi is that it is a very traditional vegetable, but one that might need some updating in its uses (um, “what uses?” you might be wondering). Kohlrabi happens to be German for cabbage (kohl) and turnip (rabi), and this is essentially what it is, a cabbage-turnip-veggie-thingy. It tastes pretty much like that too so its uses are anywhere you’d use one or the other of those.
(Image of kohlrabi from allotments.ie)
I decided to take it in another direction, much the way that Robertson helped Bob Dylan take his music electric in 1965. Okay, that was an absurd comparison, and I’m not even the first to put kohlrabi on a pizza, Kristin from Farm Fresh Feasts did it with kohlrabi from her CSA over a year ago, which partly gave me the inspiration for this pizza!
So it turns out I’m not quite a Robbie Robertson… but I’d like to think that this pizza, which I’m referring to as Kohlrabi Robertson, is something along the lines of what he is all about, bridging the gap between the traditional and the modern. And in this case that’s using a very traditional European vegetable to make a modern pizza.
This pizza then crossed borders from a Europe to East Asia with the addition of bok choy to the base and as a topping. Unsure of what to use a couple heads of bok choy that were getting a bit yellow and wilty I threw them in a pesto along with some kale from the garden. After all, it was Week of Greens and I had to finish on a strong green note.
To compare this pizza—or myself—one more time to the great musician who crossed genres and helped contribute to the formation of the types of music known as Americana, Roots Rock, and Country Rock, this pizza crosses genres and blends cultures. Oh man, this is so ridiculous, I should just stop here, but for some reason I keep reaching for comparisons. Time to be honest, the main reason this pizza is called Kohlrabi Robertson is because the name just floated into my head while making it and I like puns. But I really do love The Band and Robbie Robertson so I’m happy to name this pizza after him!
Oh, and I should mention that, most importantly, after all this blabbing about genres, cultures, and musical greats, this pizza was delicious. I also have to say that kohlrabi is a new favorite veggie for me, and I think I’ll eat it in more formats than just as a pizza topping!
- ½ kohlrabi, sliced thinly
- 1-2 heads bok choy, prettiest leaves reserved for pizza topping
- 3-4 large kale leaves (optional, if you don’t have enough bok choy)
- 2-3 tbsp. oil
- 2-3 tbsp. goat cheese
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ½ cup mozzarella, cut in thin pieces or shredded
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. crushed red peppers (optional, but adds a nice punch)
- pizza dough
- Preheat oven to 500. While oven is heating roast the sliced kohlrabi on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast the kohlrabi until it is begging to turn golden brown on the edges.
- Make the pesto by pureeing the bok choy (accept the prettiest leaves that will go on top of the pizza), kale, oil, goat cheese, walnuts, and a teaspoon of salt.
- Stretch the pizza dough and spread the pesto over the dough. Top with the sliced mozzarella, leaving gaps between the cheese to let the pesto show. Top this with the roasted kohlrabi, the extra bok choy leaves, a bit of salt and pepper, and the crushed red peppers.
- Bake on a baking sheet, pizza pan, or baking stone*.
*If using a baking stone we highly recommend a super peel, it’s very cool, works very well, and makes using a baking stone easy and fun!