Fresh and Simple Arugula Pizza

Arugula Pizza

The time has come. Whatever is ready in the garden is what we have for dinner!  An assortment of dark leafy greens, purple greens and lime green-greens are beginning to stand tall among the carrots, potatoes
and beets.

Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C,E, and many of the B vitamins.

I can’t recall how it happened but gradually over the years leafy greens have become a staple food for us. They are a must have when putting a meal together.  We enjoy greens raw, blended in smoothies, wrapped in pie dough, baked as chips, added to soups, as edible wraps, with whole grains, in pesto and on and on.  We have a great appreciation for Collards,Chard, Bok Choy, Kale and Arugula, not to mention Romaine and Spinach. From what I read it’s best to enjoy an assortment to get the unique mix of benefits
each has to offer.

This Arugula Pizza is rustic and fresh.  It’s become a summertime favorite.

The following whole wheat pizza crust has been served to non- whole wheat lovers and enjoyed for it’s flavor.  A side note for efficiency sake; I recommend 4 x-ing this recipe and then freezing it in small disks wrapped in seran wrap and place 2-3 disks in a gallon freezer zip-loc. 

Arugula Pizza with Whole Wheat CrustCrust:

1 T. active dry yeast

1 T. honey

1 1/3 cup warm water (comfortable warm to the wrist)

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached white flour

1 t. sea salt

Directions: Combine yeast, honey and 1 1/3 cup warm water in your mixer bowl and pulse a few times
to combine. If you are making this by hand, combine ingredients in a medium sized bowl and give it a quick stir with a fork.  The mixture should foam a bit after about 5-10 minutes if it doesn’t it could mean the yeast is old.

After the yeast mixture foams, add salt and slowly add flours all the while the mixer is doing the job of combining ingredients.  You have added enough flour when dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer and forms a ball.  Mix on medium speed for 10 minutes.

If you are making this by hand you will use a wooden spoon initially until dough is too stiff to stir.  Transfer dough to a floured surface, continue to knead in flour until dough no longer sticks to the surface and feels soft. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft.

Form dough into a ball and place in a large deep bowl that you rubbed with olive oil. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat with oil.  You want the dough to have room to grow so make sure your bowl is big enough. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm place for an hour.

Punch dough down. (If desired, at this point, you can freeze your dough, shape in flat disks, wrapped loosely in plastic).

Preheat oven to 450 with a pizza stone on the middle shelf. If you have a convection oven, that is ideal, but not necessary.

My pizza stone is 13 x 9 so I roll the dough into a rectangle that size and about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. (True authentic pizza makers make magic, stretching the dough with their hands and recommend not rolling the dough). Before putting the topping on, I transfer the rolled crust to parchment paper. The pizza  masters also use a pizza peel but in my kitchen parchment paper will have to do.

Rub entire surface with olive oil. Add;

4 cloves garlic minced

Top with;

3 fresh tomatoes sliced into 1/8 in. rounds

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Top with;

8 oz. grated mozzarella

Salt and pepper

Place pizza in oven with parchment paper on stone. I actually use the parchment to carry the pizza into the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden.

While the pizza is baking, make the arugula salad.

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan

5 T. olive oil

2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 t. lemon zest

4 cups cleaned baby arugula

thin fresh radish curls (optional)

Blend the first 4 ingredients together in food processor or with an immersion blender. Toss with arugula and place on pizza when it comes out of the oven. Serve with fresh fruit.


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