Arugula is a spicy green that lends itself to a variety of preparations. However you decide to enjoy it, lemon juice helps mild the peppery flavor nicely. This is a simple white pizza topped with raw arugula dressed with lemon and olive oil. In a happy accident, I ran out of mozzarella cheese and spread ricotta over one of the pizzas. Try this pizza both ways or just one, you won’t regret it.
If making pizza curst seems like too much work, feel free to use pre-made dough. You can purchase white or whole wheat flour dough at Wegman’s and Greenstar in Ithaca. Gluten-free people, use a pre-made gluten free crust or your favorite crust recipe. I have used this version many times with great results. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, this recipe is very easy. Start by sprinkling the yeast and a pinch of sugar into the water. Let the yeast sit for about 15 minutes until it’s bubbly and expanded. Add the olive oil to the yeast, then combine in the mixer with salt and flour. Mix on speed 2 for 4-5 minutes. Watch the dough in the first few minutes of mixing and if it’s too dry add warm water in tablespoons until the dough is chasing itself in a ball around the dough hook. If dough is too wet, add flour in tablespoons. Place dough in oiled bowl and cover for one hour. Dough will rise until about doubled.
If you like very thin pizza, this dough will roll out into two thin crusts. You can also make one thick crust, or about 4 individual size pizzas. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Stretch with your hands, and then use a rolling pin to get the dough to the desired thickness. Brush olive oil over the dough and spread the mozzarella slices out over the crust. Mozzarella spreads a lot, so less is more here. If using ricotta spread the ricotta out with a spatula. Grate fresh parmesan over the top and bake for 15 minutes.
While the pizza is cooking dress the greens. Top the cooked pizza with the dressed greens and serve at once.
Arugula White Pizza
1 bunch arugula, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella and 1 cup of ricotta cheese or double amount of 1 cheese
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
olive oil for brushing pizza
juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
few grinds of black pepper
For the crust:
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur Flour’s White Whole Wheat Flour)
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Make the crust. Sprinkle yeast and sugar into warm water. Set aside for 15 minutes. Place flour and salt in mixer and whisk together. When yeast is bubbly and expanded add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the yeast mixture. Combine flour and wet ingredients in mixer. Mix on low speed (2 on a kitchen aid mixer) for 4-5 minutes. Dough should be in a ball chasing itself around the mixer. If dough is too dry add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time. If it’s too wet add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Place dough ball in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap for one hour.
Assemble the pizza. Preheat oven to 450F. Divide the dough into 2 balls for thin crust or roll out the whole ball for thick crust. Place onto an oiled baking sheet or pizza pan. Brush with olive oil, then add mozzarella, and finish with parmesan. Bake at 450F for 15 minutes. While the pizza is cooking toss greens with olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. Remove pizza from oven and top with greens. Let cool about 5 minutes before slicing.