Crispy Kale Pizza with Caramelised Red Onion and Red Leicester Cheese

This is one of my favourite pizzas and it’s stuffed full of good things: nutty, mellow Red Leicester cheese and caramelised red onions taste fantastic with the crispy kale and thyme sets it all off beautifully.

Crispy Kale Topping without Scorching

The secret to the crispy kale topping is to massage it thoroughly with the oil first until it's all completely coated: this will ensure it crisps nicely without frazzling and becoming bitter.

General Kale Tips

Use kale soon after cutting: it can become bitter and nasty if stored too long. Ideally, grow your own and harvest it at the last minute before needed.

Wash thoroughly and remove the tough central stalk. As with all brassicas cook quickly to avoid releasing sulphurous compounds.

Makes 2 medium pizzas

Pizza Base

300g strong white bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon quick yeast

1 tablespoon oil

210ml water

You will need 2 baking trays lined with greaseproof paper

Combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a roomy bowl. Use the fingertips of one hand to incorporate the oil and water. Knead the dough with both hands until it's smooth and silky.

Leave to prove until virtually doubled in size.

Turn onto a lightly floured board, knead briefly. Divide into two.

Roll each piece into a ball. Use a rolling pin to roll into thin discs.

Transfer to trays.

Leave to rise for 30 minutes before adding the toppings.

Caramelised Red Onions

700g red onions

3 tablespoons oil

25g golden caster sugar

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


100g Red Leicester cheese, grated

50g torn curly kale

1 tablespoon oil

Coarsely ground black pepper

Thyme leaves

Slice the onions and cook slowly in oil for 30 minutes in a lidded pan. Stir occasionally.

Once soft, add the sugar, cook for a few moments and add the vinegar, stir thoroughly and cook, uncovered this time, over a low heat for another 30 minutes. Season to taste.

Put the kale into a bowl and add the oil: massage it thoroughly into the leaves until they are all coated.

Spread the onions over the pizza bases and top with the cheese. Scatter with pepper and thyme leaves.

Bake for 7-8 minutes in a preheated oven (fan oven) at 200C or until the crust is colouring and the cheese is melting. Remove  the pizzas from the oven and spread the prepared kale over in a thin layer. Return them to the oven for 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately.