The first time I had a pizza topped with arugula was during our first family trip to London. My mom will never let me live it down because I said "Why is there a forrest on my pizza?!? I don't want all this salad!". And now I'm obsessed with pizza topped with salad which makes my mom wants to strangle me (her words, not mine).
Brendan and I initially made them for a Meatless Monday meal but now we make them on a regular basis just because we love them. This recipe is based on the Barefoot Contessa's recipe for white pizzas in her "Back To Basics Cookbook". I haven't followed her exact recipe for them and I'm sure they're delicious but most nights I don't feel like making my own pizza dough, so I've created some short cuts. For example, I buy whole wheat pizza dough from my favorite Portland bakery, Grand Central Bakery, just down the street from my apartment. Buying high quality dough from a bakery or grocery store like Whole Foods or New Seasons really makes a HUGE difference. I have tried using dough from the regular grocery store and... meh! Trust me and buy some good quality dough!
Makes 3 pizzas (serves 2 generously)
what you'll need:
For the pizzas
14 oz high quality pizza dough (I like whole wheat)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme, removed from stem and chopped roughly
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp creamy goat cheese
2 to 2-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
For the salad topping with lemon vinaigrette
2 cups or so baby arugula
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (usually 2-3 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 500 F. Cover two baking sheets in parchment paper (preferred) or spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. The parchment paper helps the dough hold its shape better in my opinion.
Thinly slice the cloves of garlic.
In a small pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Sauté the garlic until it barely starts to turn golden. Remove from heat. Add in the chopped thyme and red pepper flakes.
Split the pizza dough into 3 equal balls.
Stretch the dough balls into plat discs, they don't have to be perfect (as you can see from mine below).
Brush the pizzas with garlic oil and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper.
Crumble the goat cheese evenly over each pizza.
Sprinkle the pizzas with mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 8 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the lemon vinaigrette by combining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper. Mix evenly and adjust seasonings as needed. You will probably have leftover dressing (you can use it on the salad in Caity's Favorite Dinner: Chicken Parmesan!)
In a separate bowl, dress the baby arugula with the lemon vinaigrette.
When the pizzas are done (I may have over browned the top one...), top each one with baby arugula and serve immediately.