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™‚

Curried Chicken Tea Sandwich with Toasted Coconut & Almonds

This recipe is a new one in my repertoire and I put it together for a recent event I was hosting at my husband’s office. The food theme was ‘tapas’ and this fit the bill! I only had a few hours to put together a spread of tapas, and this was probably the easiest one for me to put together! The biggest reason is because this is pretty much a no-cook recipe – assembly only!

I bought a rotisserie chicken from the market, and after that it was all assembly! ๐Ÿ™‚ I decided to do sandwich triangles, but I also like the thin, rectangular presentation for tea sandwiches (classic is always lovely!). If you are worried about the sandwiches coming apart, feel free to put a toothpick through each sandwich.

Even though this is great as a ‘tea’ sandwich, this sandwich is perfect for a quick lunch sandwich to switch things up a little.

If you don’t want the sweeter taste that comes from the marmalade and coconut, omit them and add white onions and avocado cubes to the chicken mixture (although, try it once – you might be surprised how much you like it!).

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Yields: 24-36 tea sandwiches or 12 entreรฉ-size sandwiches
Ingredients

1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons orange-ginger marmalade (or you can use orange marmalade if orange-ginger is unavailable)
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups diced cooked chicken (I take meat off of a fresh rotisserie chicken from the supermarket)
12 slices of bread of your choice, crusts trimmed (pumpernickel adds a great taste variance, but I usually have buttermilk on hand and enjoy that)
3 tablespoons diced green onions

Preparation

Bake coconut and almonds in a shallow baking pan at 350ยฐ, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until toasted. (Note: if you want them to bake separately in case there are leftovers afterward, use different pans, otherwise to save time, I just put them in the same baking pan).

Stir together cream cheese and next 4 ingredients in a bowl; gently stir in chicken with a spatula until all ingredients are well-incorporated. This chicken salad filling can be made ahead and can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Spread evenly on bread slices and top with toasted coconut, toasted almond, and green onion, as desired. Cut each slice into 2-3 strips (optional) for tea sandwiches, or you can leave whole for an entreรฉ portion.