Grilled Pizza with Fresh Arugula

I love pizza. It’s versatile, delicious, kid-friendly, vegetarian-friendly, meat-friendly, everyone-friendly. Also, a lot of my love for it has to do with the fact that no two pizzas have to be the same – ever! Toppings and sauce choices make pizzas SO fun and SO delicious. For example, who ever said that if you have two people at home who have different tastes, you can’t make half a pizza with one set of toppings, and the other half with another set? (see picture below from a fun pizza night at my place – I’m the mozzarella lover, hubs like everything else ;-)).

If you’re a meat lover or vegetarian alike, you will LOVE my grilled pizza recipe. Not only is the crispy texture of the pizza dough heavenly, but this recipe uses store-bought pizza dough which makes everyone much much happier!! Don’t get me wrong – homemade pizza dough is AMAZING, however it does take practice and it does take some time. Why fret all of that (especially on a weeknight) when both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell 1 lb bags of pizza dough (in the refrigerating sections!) ranging from whole wheat, garlic herb, regular plain pizza dough, and whole grain? And just when you thought it didn’t get better, they sell them for around $1.29 a pop.

Oh wait, and there’s more. I make 2 pizzas out of each bag of dough. If you’re on a budget but like eating DELIRIOUSLY DELICIOUS food, this recipe is for you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So what if you don’t own a $6,000 wood-fired brick oven pizza? After this recipe, you won’t even miss it ๐Ÿ˜‰

The ending step of adding fresh, peppery arugula on top of the fresh, hot pizza makes this recipe even healthier and more delicious – it’s like a pizza salad! ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. – the pictures I have included below were so beautifully taken by Derrick Jang of Derrick Jang Photography at a recent party I hosted for one of my dearest friend S’s big birthday party! ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s incredibly talented. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy!


Yields: 1 beautifully thin and crispy grilled pizza!

Ingredients

1/2 1 lb. store-bought fresh pizza dough (if you want a thicker pizza, use the whole ball of dough for one pizza!)
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup of either tomato sauce or pesto (it’s your pizza so it’s your choice!) ๐Ÿ™‚
1.5 cups of shredded cheese of your choice
chopped vegetables for toppings, if desired (my favorites are: red onion, thinly sliced zucchini, fresh mozarella, tomatoes, olives, and sliced garlic!)
sliced meat, if desired

Garnish: fresh, organic arugula and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

On a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin, roll out your dough as much as you can to the thickness you enjoy (I like mine thin!). Just be careful not to rip holes in the dough.

Coat your pizza tray with cooking spray and lay out the rolled dough on it, using the edges of your fingers to expand the dough to fit the pan properly. Push along the edge of the pan/dough and pat it down gently.

Using a fork, gently prick the dough throughout to prevent the pizza from having large air bubbles (which makes spreading sauce on it very difficult!).

Brush the extra virgin olive oil onto the dough and sprinkle salt on top, evenly. Place pan directly onto heated grill and let it heat up for 3-4 minutes. Remove from grill and top the pizza with sauce of your choice, cheese, and toppings of your choice.




[Note: If you look at this picture of me grilling pizzas, you see that I am using BOTH a pizza stone and a pizza pan. It’s really your choice if you want to invest in a pizza stone, but I love the result from both methods of grilling pizza. Just be sure to a) preheat the stone per the directions on the package and b) spray the pizza stone with cooking spray so that your pizza doesn’t stick!]

Close the grill hood to allow the cheese and toppings to cook, and allow further grilling for approximately 3-4 minutes. At the very end, remove the pan from underneath the pizza if you desire grill marks on the bottom of your pizza, and let it grill for 30 seconds-1 minute (note: your grill might be hotter/cooler than mine, so use your judgment on cook times!)

Slide the pan back under the pizza, remove from heat, top with arugula and freshly cracked black pepper, slice, and enjoy hot! ๐Ÿ™‚ [Note: If you want to try this out, there are more economical pizza peel and pizza stone sets! Cooking well doesn’t always have to break your bank! ๐Ÿ˜‰

ENJOY ENJOY! ๐Ÿ™‚

Fancy Asparagus & Tomato Party Pizza

UPDATE: 2/12/12: See one of my readers’ review on this recipe here!

Hey all! This is a simple recipe that I made the other day for a lunch and this was a HUGE hit! Change things up by baking this in a square pan instead of a round one – cut square pieces and enjoy as finger food or with a salad to complete a light meal! The fresh asparagus and tomato slices gives you a burst of fresh flavor and skipping the tomato sauce makes this dish a lot lighter than your regular, every-day pizza.

Remember you can make this dish look super fancy by arranging the asparagus spears and tomatoes in a beautiful arrangement – when you are entertaining, if your presentation is beautiful, people always seem to enjoy the food even more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hope you enjoy this recipe :).


Yields: 4-6 appetizer servings or 3-4 entree

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour, for dusting
1 ball of store-bought pizza dough (both Whole Foods and Trader Joes sell it in the refrigerated section, and they are delicious!)
1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (adds a bite to the pizza!)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
[Note: you can use a cheese blend of your choice if you want]
one handful of asparagus spears, trimmed, washed, and dried (preferably thin asparagus, if available)
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onion (green part)

AFTER BAKING PIZZA
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare your rolling surface for the dough by sprinkling 1/2 of your all-purpose flour on the flat surface (this prevents your pizza dough from sticking). Using a rolling pin, roll out your pizza dough on your floured surface. Roll it so that you end up with a crispy, Italian-style pizza (if you prefer to roll it thicker, increase your baking time so that you don’t end up with raw pizza dough!).

Spray your pizza pan with cooking spray and pick up the rolled pizza dough from your surface and move it to the greased pan. Don’t worry if your pizza dough looks too small for the pan at this point, or is an odd shape! The great thing about pizza dough is that it stretches! Now stretch the dough to fit the pizza pan (your pan can be circular or rectangular, your choice!). Using two fingers (index and middle), work around the edge of the pizza pan and dough and compact the edges so they sit perfectly on the edge of the pan (your dough should not be spilling over the sides of the pan, but rather contained on the pan).

Drizzle the olive oil on the pizza dough and spread evenly. Sprinkle on the kosher salt.

Now bake the pizza in your preheated oven for 3-5 minutes (depends on your oven strength). This allows the crust to cook a little for extra crispiness in your end product.

Now add the cheese, asparagus, tomato slices & green onion. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the pizza is done to your desired crispiness.

VARIATIONS ON THIS RECIPE: Use a pesto sauce or Alfredo sauce if you don’t like your pizza sans-sauce. Or try adding roasted corn AFTER you have pulled the pizza out of the oven before serving. YUMMO!!!

Enjoy!


Breakfast Pizza

I am so excited to share this recipe with all of you because a) it can be adjusted very easily to become ‘vegetarian’, minus the egg and bacon part and b) when I made this recently and posted photos on facebook, many of you got so excited about this recipe!

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s a flexible one – I suppose all pizza recipes can be adjusted to your liking because the only constant is the flour you are using to prevent the dough from sticking (yes, even the dough-type can be changed! options range from herbed dough, wheat dough, parmesan dough, you name it!) You can even use more cheese or less (I like my pizzas super cheesy!).

If you are a vegetarian (or just don’t like eggs in this style for whatever reason), just omit them (and the bacon)! If you LOVE mushrooms, add them! Some other toppings that I love on this pizza that are not included in this recipe are: prosciutto (can be baked or added at the very end), baby spinach, different kinds of cheeses (colby jack, shavings of grana padano after it’s baked, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives).

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour, for dusting
1 ball of store-bought pizza dough (both Whole Foods and Trader Joes sell it in the refrigerated section, and they are delicious!)
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup of marinara sauce (any tomato sauce works!)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (adds a bite to the pizza!)
1 cups shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of cooked bacon pieces
4 large eggs
AFTER BAKING PIZZA
Freshly ground black pepper
1 handful of fresh arugula (rocket or otherwise)
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare your rolling surface for the dough by sprinkling 1/2 of your all-purpose flour on the flat surface (this prevents your pizza dough from sticking). Using a rolling pin, roll out your pizza dough on your floured surface. Roll it so that you end up with a crispy, italian-style pizza (if you prefer to roll it thicker, increase your baking time so that you don’t end up with raw pizza dough!).

Spray your pizza pan with cooking spray and pick up the rolled pizza dough from your surface and move it to the greased pan. Don’t worry if your pizza dough looks too small for the pan at this point, or is an odd shape! The great thing about pizza dough is that it stretches! Now stretch the dough to fit the pizza pan (your pan can be circular or rectangular, your choice!). Using two fingers (index and middle), work around the edge of the pizza pan and dough and compact the edges so they sit perfectly on the edge of the pan (your dough should not be spilling over the sides of the pan, but rather contained on the pan).

Drizzle the olive oil on the pizza dough – it doesn’t need to be on every inch, but spread out evenly as a drizzle. Sprinkle on the kosher salt. Spread the tomato sauce right until the edges. If you prefer a larger crust, leave more room on the edge without sauce. Now add all the cheese, and top with all of the toppings except the eggs!

When you are ready to add the eggs, create four ’round spaces’ or ‘wells’ in the cheese with your fingers as little landing pads for the eggs you will crack onto the pizza (don’t dig into the dough, this is only to make sure the egg white doesn’t ooze all over the pizza and remains contained). You can space these out however you want on the pizza. Crack away!

Now bake the pizza in your preheated oven for 7-9 minutes (depends on your oven strength), rotating the pizza pan once halfway through. Your eggs should be cooked the way you like them (I like mine slightly runny, but you may prefer yours well done!).

Now add freshly ground black pepper, fresh arugula, chopped chives, fresh chopped parsley, and any other toppings you would want on your fabulous breakfast pizza.

VARIATIONS ON THIS RECIPE: Use a pesto sauce or alfredo sauce instead of marinara for a fabulous new taste!

This recipe gets devoured so fast, I always make sure to make two pizzas! ๐Ÿ™‚