white pizza with arugula, parmesan, lemon, & ricotta
Say hello to my new favorite pizza. I’m going to admit something to you—when it comes to dinnertime, I’ve got about 3 things I make every week and mix them up just enough to not go crazy. We’ve got tacos, pasta of some sort, and pizza. I know what you’re thinking, she so healthy! Jokes aside, I’ve been feeling uninspired in the kitchen. And then I did something crazy—I looked at my vast assortment of cookbooks (honestly, there is no reason I should ever make the same thing twice with all these recipes at hand, but alas, I do). I remembered one that I picked up shortly after I found out I was pregnant, Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach. It’s all about making delicious meals for your family to share but also ones that don’t take so much time to make that you actually miss out on the family time. Since rediscovering it on my shelf this past weekend, I’ve made two recipes, both of which have been delicious, but this one—white pizza with arugula, Parmesan, lemon, and ricotta is downright magical. The antithesis of boring, this pizza is full of flavor and anything but ordinary.
One of the things I really appreciate about a good recipe is that I learn more than simply how to make this one thing. For instance, Jenny encourages you to take the time to press out the dough—something I often give up on after a minute or two and end up with ok, but thick, crust. Another aha! moment was turning up the oven to 500°. Those two pieces of knowledge mean my pizza making prowess just went through the roof. Simple, yes. I’m sure I could’ve learned these things anywhere, but they were packaged in a book that felt super relatable to me, like she understands that sometimes it takes all you’ve got to figure out what to make for dinner let alone actually make it. So yeah, I like this book, and no, the publisher didn’t send it to me. Anywho, let’s talk about this pizza.
The crust (I totally cheated and bought the dough at Whole Foods) has a bit of substance, it’s crisp yet chewy, just the way I like it. But what makes this pizza shine is the arugula mixture scattered on top of it. Each bite is the perfect combination of bright, zesty salad paired with a warm, cheesy crust. I think I could’ve eaten the whole thing, but I do have a little bit of restraint and cut myself off at three slices. Ok, well I may have taken a few bites out of another slice when Aaron wasn’t looking, but whatevs. I seriously encourage you to make this pizza stat. And perhaps rediscover a cookbook sitting on your shelf, too.
White pizza with arugula, parmesan, lemon, and ricotta
slightly adapted from Dinner: A love Story
I almost always add lemon zest and a little lemon juice to my ricotta. I’ve yet to find an instance where it doesn’t make the dish better.
Olive oil, for greasing and brushing
1 16-oz ball of homemade or store bought pizza dough (I used one from Whole Foods that was delicious)
1 8-oz ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
few handfuls of arugula
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
zest from half a lemon
juice from 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh ricotta
Preheat oven to 500° F
1. I like to put parchment paper below my pizza, but if you prefer not to, use your fingers or a pastry brush to grease a 17 x12-inch rimmed baking sheet with the olive oil. Drop your pizza dough into the center of the baking sheet, and using your fingers and a little olive oil, press out and flatten the dough so it spreads as close as possible to all four corners. This might seem difficult, but persist—the thin crust will be worth it (it took me five minutes).
2. Cover the dough with mozzarella and brush the exposed edge of the crust with a little oil. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is crispy and the cheese bubbly. If the cheese starts to bubble before the crust looks done, cover the center of the pizza with foil.
3. While the pizza bakes, toss together the arugula, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, 1/2 the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining lemon juice, lemon zest, and ricotta. Set aside.
5. When the pizza crust is ready, let it cool for about 2 minutes and then top with the salad. Add the ricotta (I like to do one dollop per slice) and finish with a few grinds of pepper.