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Hugh's kale, onions and chestnuts
Hugh's kale, onions and chestnuts
added by Hugh's Three Good Things

Hugh's kale, onions and chestnuts, taken from his Three Good Things on More4. Hugh's recognised a simple pattern that underpins so many well-loved dishes – that they are little more or less than three good things on a plate and in this series, he pursues that idea, experimenting with different flavours and textures.

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Prep time
  • 30 mins
Cook Time
  • 10-15 mins
  • 3 pizzas each serving 2-3
  • For the pizza dough
  • 250g plain white flour
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 1½ level teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon easy blend (instant) yeast
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil, plus a little extra
  • For the topping
  • About 300g kale or cavolo nero, leaves stripped from stalks and cut into ribbons
  • A dash of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to trickle
  • 25g butter
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 200g cooked peeled chestnuts (vacuum-packed are fine)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Coming up with unusual pizza toppings has become a bit of an obsession for me – this is a current favourite. It’s not worth making the dough in smaller quantities than this, but if you’re only feeding a few, you can freeze some of the dough in pizza-sized portions) and scale down the topping accordingly.

To make the pizza dough, put the flours in a large bowl with the salt and yeast. Mix well. Add the 1 tablespoon oil and 325ml warm water and mix to a rough dough. Flour your hands a little. Tip the dough out on to a work surface and knead for 5–10 minutes until smooth. This is quite a loose, sticky dough – as it should be – so try not to add too much flour. It will become less sticky as you knead.

Trickle a little oil into a bowl, add the dough and turn it. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 1–2 hours. Preheat the oven to 250C/Gas 9, if it goes that high, or at least 220C/Gas 7. Put a baking sheet in to warm up.

Meanwhile, add the kale or cavolo to a pan of boiling salted water and cook for about 3 minutes until tender. Drain in a colander and refresh under cold water. Drain, then squeeze out excess water. Return the pan to a medium heat. Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil and the butter. Add the onions and sweat for about 10 minutes until soft and golden. Take out half the onions and combine with the kale. Add the garlic and chestnuts to the onions in the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add 200ml water and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Blitz to a rough puree with a handheld stick blender. Season.

Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and deflate with your fingers. Rest it for a few minutes, then cut into three. Roll out one piece as thinly as you can. Scatter a peel (pizza shovel) or another baking sheet with a little flour (or polenta) and place the dough base on it. Spread one-third of the chestnut puree over the base, then scatter over one-third of the kale and fried onion. Give the whole lot a generous trickle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Slide the pizza on to the hot baking sheet in the oven (for a really crisp crust). Or, simply lay the baking sheet on the hot one in the oven (to avoid the tricky pizza transfer). Bake the pizza for 10–12 minutes until crisp and golden brown at the edges – even a little burnt in places. Repeat with the remaining dough and topping.

This recipe is one of hundreds of new recipes which can be found in the book which inspired the series, Hugh's Three Good Things.


  • Challenge Hugh and win a £2,000 River Cottage bundle
  • Want more? Go to Hugh's Scrapbook at Channel 4

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