Barefoot Bloggers: White Pizzas with Arugula

by Melissa on August 31, 2009

It’s that time again! This recipe was the second Barefoot Bloggers recipe pick for the month of August.  Ina takes a classic white pizza recipe and mixes it up by topping it with fresh arugula tossed in a tangy lemon vinaigrette. The result is a very flavorful and unique dinner!

My thoughts on this recipe: I thought that the pizza crust dough was easy to work with, although I should have been more patient and rolled it out a bit thinner. I also could not find baby arugula anywhere, so I used mixed greens instead. I also did not used nearly the amount of garlic oil the recipe makes, and would probably make half next time.

Thank you to Andrea of Nummy Kitchen for this recipe pick! It was delicious! I also want to apologize to Veronica over at Supermarket Serenade for not getting to your pick this month. If anyone is interested, check out these Mango Banana Daiquiris! To learn more about the Barefoot Bloggers, check out the blog here!

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White Pizzas with Arugula

  • Dough
  • 1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Good olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Topping
  • 3 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces)
  • 11 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as montrachet, crumbled
  • Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Mix the dough.

Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

Knead by hand.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.

Let it rise.

Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Make garlic oil.

Place 1/2 cup of olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!)

Portion the dough.

Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Stretch the dough.

Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you’ve chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)

Top the dough.

Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.

Make the vinaigrette.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup of olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Add the greens.

When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.

TIP: Make sure the bowl is warm before you put the water and yeast in; the water must be warm for the yeast to develop.

TIP: Salt inhibits the growth of yeast; add half the flour, then the salt, and then the rest of the flour.

TIP: To make sure yeast is still “alive,” or active, put it in water and allow it to sit for a few minutes. If it becomes creamy or foamy, it’s active.

Source: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

snooky doodle August 31, 2009 at 2:56 pm

oh I love pizza!!

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Kate September 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Is this an individual pizza? It is SO cute!

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Melissa September 1, 2009 at 2:35 pm

The recipe makes 6 pizzas, but I only used 1/2 the dough and made 4 from that. So, yes they are individual sized. When made according to the recipe though, they would be bigger. :)

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Marguerite September 1, 2009 at 3:21 pm

That looks so delicious!!!

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burpexcuzme September 1, 2009 at 11:40 pm

I adore the simplicity of this pizza, just letting the good ingredients shine. I suppose the dough is VERY critical in it, too! no heavy toppings to disguise a bad crust!

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Joelen September 2, 2009 at 9:27 am

Great recipe and so simple too!

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Eva September 2, 2009 at 7:44 pm

I couldn’t find arugula either! So I used mixed greens too! I thought I was going nuts because I went to 3 different places looking for it! I am so glad I am not the only one who couldn’t find it.

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Maryanna September 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Wow. This pizza looks really good. I love a good twist on a pizza.

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The Novice Chef September 3, 2009 at 12:54 am

What a beautiful photo! I love the changes you made!

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Erin September 3, 2009 at 10:09 am

This pizza looks so tasty! I’ve seen it on a couple barefoot bloggers sites, and I’m very tempted to make it. Too bad you couldn’t find arugula, because I bet it’s peppery flavor really adds to this dish.

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