Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meatless Monday - Whole Wheat Pizza with Zucchini and Arugula

I had the best lunch the other day, one of my very favorite pizzas. It's lite and delicious, quick and easy. This pizza is simple: It's a thin and crispy pizza crust, drizzled with olive oil or butter, then topped with thinly sliced zucchini, sharp white cheddar cheese, and spinach or arugula that's been tossed with a simple lemon vinaigrette and sprinkled with Parmesan. Doesn't that sound divine? Yes, it does.

You par-bake the dough, spread some butter on the crust or drizzle with olive oil, then you lay thinly sliced zucchini pieces on top and bake for about 10 minutes. While your pizza is baking, toss the spinach with the lemon dressing and set it aside. Pull it out of the oven, and sprinkle on the cheese, put it back in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted. Sprinkle on some black pepper, and let it cool for a few minutes then top with your salad mixture, slice and enjoy!

Since the other day it was just me and my daughter for lunch, I made my pizza on a whole wheat flat bread from Trader Joe's, and I didn't bother par-baking it. I had a wonderfully luxurious-seeming lunch in less than 10 minutes. Now for a recipe :)

Whole Wheat Zucchini Pizza

1 Lb whole wheat pizza dough
1T butter, melted
1-2 zucchini thinly sliced, with a mandolin if possible
1T extra virgin olive oil
2oz extra sharp white cheddar cheese (or any cheese of your choice. Parmesan is good also)
2-4c baby spinach or arugula
1/4c shredded Parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4c olive oil
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. If you have a pizza stone or a stoneware baking pan, let that preheat in the oven as well.

Roll out pizza dough fairly thin. Place it on your pizza stone/stoneware or a cookie sheet and bake for five minutes. After five minutes, remove pizza crust from the oven and spread butter over it. Then top the pizza with the zucchini slices, covering the entire pizza crust. Drizzle the olive oil over the zucchini and put pizza back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes or until crust is as crispy as you'd prefer.

While pizza is cooking, combine lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a jar with a lid and give it a good shake. Add salt and pepper to taste then drizzle over spinach or arugula and set aside.

Once pizza is done, top with shredded cheddar and bake another minute or two until cheese has melted. Grind some freshly ground pepper over the melted cheese and let the pizza cool for a few minutes. Top pizza with spinach or arugula salad, then sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Cut into wedges and swoon. I mean serve :)

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