Life is more colorful when taking a detour from the straight-and-narrow route from time to time. This is what leads us to the glass of perfectly chilled rosé, fresh baked gluten-free brownies, and of course, homemade pizza. With the flawless balance between a crisp crust, and the rich cheesy texture, pizza hits the spot each and every time. So if we have to add an extra kale salad and Greens 1 into the day to maintain health symmetry, it is worth it, especially when this White Pizza is on the menu. Pairing the bitterness of arugula with the sweeter notes of ricotta, as well as the buttery nature of prosciutto with the saltiness of the dough, ambrosia is born. Created by Laura B. Russell for her latest cookbook, Brassicas, we couldn’t be more excited to share a piece of the pie.
You are likely more familiar with arugula as a simple salad green than as a salad-on-top-of-a-pizza green. Here, the residual heat from the crust and creamy warmth of the ricotta temper the peppery bite of the arugula, which is why pizzas like this one are popular on menus throughout the country. Many grocery stores and pizza parlors sell premade pizza dough, which makes this recipe perfect for weeknight cooking. If you are following a gluten-free diet, look for a gluten-free box mix or frozen crust and follow the package directions. If the crust needs longer than 10 to 12 minutes in the oven, pre bake the crust partially, then add the cheese topping for the final 10 minutes.
White Pizza with Arugula and Prosciutto
Makes one (10″ to 12″) pizza
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces pizza dough, at room temperature
2 cups arugula leaves
2 to 3 slices prosciutto, cut into narrow strips (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place a pizza stone on an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F for a full 30 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, mixing well.
Lay a sheet of parchment paper 12 to 14 inches square on a work surface. Place the dough on the parchment and roll or pat it into a 10- to 12-inch round about 1/8-inch thick. Using the back of a spoon, spread the cheese mixture evenly over the crust.
Transfer the parchment to a rimless or an inverted baking sheet. Slide the pizza—parchment and all—onto the hot baking stone and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the topping is browned. (If you do not have a baking stone, slide the pizza and parchment onto a rimless baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. The crust will not be quite as crisp).
Just before the pizza is ready to come out of the oven, combine the arugula and prosciutto in a bowl.
Drizzle with the oil and lemon juice, add a pinch of salt and a generous grind of pepper, and toss to coat evenly. Remove the pizza from the oven and mound the salad on top. The heat from the pizza will wilt the greens. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from Brassicas by Laura B. Russell (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). Photo credit: Sang An.