Saag Paneer Naan Pizza
Saag, a classic Indian spinach dish, doesn’t exactly look pretty (it looks like a pile of green mush – not going to sugar coat it), but it’s flavorful and delicious, not to mention all that spinach is good for you! Saag is basically a healthier, Indian version of creamed spinach. In this recipe, the saag is spread on fluffy naan bread and topped with paneer (an Indian cheese) for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. The pizza-alternative is a great way to get out of our standard cheese pizza rut.
1½ pounds baby spinach
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 Thai birdseye chili, finely chopped
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
Kosher salt, to taste
½ cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup plain yogurt
4 pieces prepared naan bread
6 ounces paneer, cut into ¼” thick, 1” cubes*
1 medium Fresno pepper, thinly sliced
Bring a large pot of water over medium-high heat to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch until bright green and tender, about 30 seconds. Remove spinach to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the spinach then squeeze out excess water. Roughly chop the spinach and set aside.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chili and cook for an additional minute, stirring occasionally. Add the garam masala, coriander, and turmeric, stirring to cook the spices for just a few seconds. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the spinach to the pan. Stir together the spinach mixture and vegetable stock and cook until the greens are soft and deep green, about 4 minutes. Add the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms (should look similar to pesto). Return to the pan then stir in the butter and yogurt.
Heat oven to 500ºF.
Spread about 1/3 cup of the saag on one of the pieces of naan, leaving about a ½” border around the edges. Then top with pieces of the paneer and Fresno peppers and repeat with the remaining naan. Bake until the cheese has melted and the edges of the naan are golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Cut into equal pieces and serve immediately.
Makes 4 naan pizzas.
*Paneer is a rubbery, mild-tasting Indian cheese. If you cannot find Paneer substitute with part-skim mozzarella cheese.