Balance. It’s what we all strive for (or should strive for) with eating. In the dark depths of winter, this can be rather challenging. A cold green smoothie just hasn’t been cutting it these past couple months. Salad for dinner has been happening…well…it hasn’t been happening at all. Maybe for lunch. But not for dinner…after the sun has prematurely set and the bone-chilling cold sets in at full force.
All I want to do these days, as we work our way through freezing temperatures, icy streets, and another snowstorm, is curl up on the couch with a large serving of something warm, heavy, and nap inducing. Given that it’s March and we’re already in our fourth month of crazy cold temperatures, this sort of thing has been happening more often than I’d like to admit.
So, to make this luscious cheese and prosciutto pizza seem a little more BALANCED, I throw an arugula salad on top. And then top said salad with more cheese. Womp womp. Oh well, at least I tried!
This pizza is like one that you may see at your local Italian pizza joints. I find that most places in my area have some version of a white pizza with fresh arugula on top on their menus. It’s a go to for me, and it never disappoints.
My version starts with a ball of purchased pizza dough. Yes, STORE BOUGHT. Ever since I had the baby, making my own pizza dough hasn’t been high on the priority list. If you want to make your own, though, feel free (here’s my go-to at-home recipe). You earn extra points. Anyway, I roll the dough out super thin and top it with some of my most favorite melty cheeses: fontina and mozzarella. Then, for added punch, I sprinkle on some sharp pecorino romano cheese and thinly sliced red onion. It gets baked until it is toasty and melty and glorious.
Once it comes out of the oven, I layer on the sexiest ham on earth (yes, I just called ham “sexy”): prosciutto. Thin, buttery ribbons of yummy. That’s what I think of when I see/eat prosciutto. It adds the perfect saltiness and luxury to any ol’ pizza.
THEN, I top the whole thing with baby arugula simply dressed with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of sugar for balance (there I go, using that word again). The final touch is a few (read: many) shavings of Parmesan cheese over the top. And voila! You’ve got a killer pizza-and-salad meal all in one.
Whether you’re looking for more balance or just a damn good meal, this pizza is for you.
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 (1-lb) ball of pizza dough
½ cup shredded Pecorino cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded Fontina cheese
½ of a red onion, sliced very thin
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sugar
6 cups baby arugula
6 slices of Prosciutto
Shaved parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 475°F and place a pizza stone (if using) on the middle rack. Roll the dough out to desired thickness and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a pizza peel lined with cornmeal. If not using a pizza stone, liberally oil a baking sheet and place the rolled out dough on the sheet.
Mix the cheeses and the lemon zest together in a bowl. Layer the cheeses and red onion slices all over the top of the pizza. Transfer the dough to the pizza stone and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the bottom is crispy and golden and the cheeses have melted.
While the pizza is baking, toss the arugula with the lemon juice, olive oil, pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper. Remove the pizza from the oven and immediately top with the sliced prosciutto and the dressed arugula. Top with parmesan shavings, slice, and serve immediately.