arugula pesto pizza

March 11, 2016 ,

Here’s a mean green pizza, featuring a homemade pesto and fresh veggies on top, this will take your pizza game to the next level. You can whip up this dough and pesto beforehand and be ready for heavenly pizza anytime your heart desires (which is everyday in my case).

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Even though you’re eating pizza, each one will give you a full serving of your green leafy veggies for the day.  Arugula (also called rocket) has a slight peppery taste, the leaves are rich in A, B, C, and K vitamins.

Arugula is a member of the cruciferous (brassica) family of vegetables, ranking it as one of the most potent sources of antioxidants, nutrients, and minerals.  This is the same family of veggies where you will find cabbage, broccoli, radishes, etc.; however, we figured that no one would be salivating over a cabbage pizza.

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Yields: 4 Individual Pizzas (8-10” diameter)

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour or all-purpose, or a mix of the two, plus extra for rolling dough
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (not too hot)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (one 1/4-oz. envelope of yeast)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Toppings

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1/4 block of daiya jalapeño havarti dairy-free cheese

Directions:

Dough

1. Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl.  In a small glass, mix together the warm water, yeast, and sugar.  You should see a thin layer of foam or bubbles on top of the liquid, if nothing happens check that the yeast is not expired.

2. Pour the liquid into the flour and stir together until a loose dough forms.  If dry flour patches still remain, add some extra water 1 tbsp at a time.  The amount of water will depend on how moist the flour was, so it varies from day-to-day.

3. Knead the dough until it is a smooth ball.  Brush 1 tbsp of olive oil over the top of the dough ball, cover with a towel and set aside for 1 1/2 hours to let it double in size.

4. After letting the dough sit, knead it a few more times into a smooth ball.  Divide the dough into 4 smaller balls or equal size.

5. Before rolling the dough out spread a thin layer of flour on the counter and on your rolling pin.  Roll the dough into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. *

*You can make the crust any thickness you desire, simply adjust the baking time accordingly

Pesto

1. Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor.  Blend until the pesto is a smooth consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.

2. Place pesto in the fridge to keep fresh until ready to assemble the pizzas.

Toppings

1. Preheat oven to 475°F and line some pizza pans or baking sheets with parchment paper. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a small pan, add onions and red chili flakes and cook for 6-8 minutes until onion is starting to caramelize.

2. Spread out a thin layer of pesto onto the rolled out pizza dough, I like to use the back of a spoon to get an even layer.  Leave about 1/2 inch around the edges for the crust.

3. Arrange the rest of the toppings: arugula, onion, mushrooms.  Don’t be afraid to pile the arugula high since it will wilt down while baking.  Shred some daiya dairy-free cheese on top to bring it all together.

4. Bake 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Notes:

After rising, pizza dough balls can be stored in the fridge in a zip-loc for up to one week.  Let the dough come back to room temperature before rolling out.

Leftover pizza can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days, reheat on a pan in the oven or eat cold. (best thing ever!)

Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks in an airtight container.

Pizza dough recipe adapted from Thug Kichen Party Grub, one of my favourite vegan cookbooks!

Nutrition information is for 1 individual pizza, however the size of the pizza can vary depending on how you roll out the dough.Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 10.08.03 AM

References:

Nutrition facts from: CRON-O-Meter

Arugula nutrition facts. (2016) Retrieved from: www.nutrition-and-you.com

George mateljan foundation. (2016) Eating healthy with cruciferous vegetables. Retrieved from: www.whfoods.com