Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beet Pizza with Arugula and Goat Cheese


Have you ever had this happen? You're at the store, you have a grocery list and then you pass something, say, in the produce section, and you're like, "Oooo, those look good. I'll just buy them because I'll use them sometime this week." And then you realize mid-week that they are still sitting in your crisper drawer and you already bought dinner for the next two nights. Well, it's okay if you say, "No, this has not happened to me. You're weird." But it did happen to me last week with beets, and I want to share the tale because a delicious new pizza came out of it. So don't call me weird just yet... unless you hate the pizza.


I was in Whole Foods and I walked by the beets and all of a sudden I wanted beets so I bought them, thinking, "Oooo, those look good. I'll just buy them because I'll use them sometime this week." Come Wednesday, I discovered the beets in the crisper but had my heart set on pizza that night. So, duhhh, I made a beet pizza.



Yes, I was pretty skeptical because I was literally throwing things I thought would be good in a beet salad onto a pizza crust and then cooking it, but I had a hunch that everything would be ok...

IT WAS DELISH!!!  So delish in fact that I kinda wanted to add it to my blog mid-dinner, but I held off.

I cried myself to sleep with happiness that night! ...Okay, that last part is not really true, but I did lie in bed thinking about the leftover slice sitting in the fridge, wondering if I should just eat it right then and there.  I held off and was rewarded with a great lunch the next day, so I guess everything worked out!









This isn’t the fastest pizza recipe in the world, but I think it is worth every minute.


Beet Pizza with Arugula and Goat Cheese
(Serves 4)

  • 1½ lbs of your favorite pizza dough (multi-grain or whole wheat)
  • flour & cornmeal
  • ¼ lb smoked bacon, thick cut
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T thyme, minced
  • 6 T olive oil, divided
  • 5 oz baby arugula (approx 6 c.)
  • Rosemary Roasted Beets (see recipe)
  • 5 oz goat cheese
  • ½ c. grated parmesan
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 shallot, approx 1/3 c., chopped
  • 1 tsp truffle oil
  • ½ tsp honey
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp each coarse salt & pepper
Spread the dough out to a thin crust on a floured pizza peel.

Prick holes to reduce bubbles and pre-cook based on your choice of cooking method below.

Re-sprinkle your pizza peel with cornmeal. This will help to slide the pizza back onto the grill or stone without sticking.
Set aside.

Cook bacon until chewy and brown, not completely crisp.  Place the bacon on paper towels to cool, reserving the drippings.


Mince garlic and place in a small bowl.  Add the thyme, 2 T of the olive oil and 1 tsp of bacon drippings (reserve the remaining drippings for this recipe).
Spread evenly on the pre-cooked crust.

Make the arugula dressing by mixing in the same garlic bowl- shallots, remaining 4 T olive oil, truffle oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss arugula with the dressing, adding additional salt & pepper, if desired.
Place the arugula salad on the crust.

Slice the beets in their pan. Using a spatula, scrape up the beet drippings and toss to coat with the beet slices.

Top the arugula with the beets.
Sprinkle with the bite-size pieces of bacon, crumbled goat cheese, chopped scallions and parmesan.


Cooking Options:
Pizza on a Pizza Stone

Preheat the oven to 500° F.
Warm the pizza stone in the oven for 15 minutes.  Turn the heat to 475° and continue to warm for 5 more minutes.
When the stone is ready, fold the pizza dough in half, on the peel, being careful not to press so that it will not stick to itself. 
Slide the dough onto the stone, working back to front, and unfolding the dough once it is completely on the stone, filling the remainder of the surface. 
The dough will instantly stick so it needs to land where it will remain on the stone, during the pre-cook.

Cook for 3 minutes.

Remove the crust with the peel, leaving the stone in the oven.  
Build your pizza. 

Remove the stone from the oven and gently slide the pizza onto the stone,

angled only enough to move, so as not to lose toppings.
Bake for 15 minutes.


**If you would rather, you can bake the pizza on a regular pan for 15 minutes at 475° F, choosing to precook the crust or not.



Pizza on the Grill
Coat the dough, lightly, with butter.
Grill the buttered side on medium heat for approximately 2 minutes.  
Butter the other side while the crust is grilling then flip and cook for 2 minutes more, or just firm.
Remove the crust with the peel and add the toppings.

Gently return to the grill, grill on med-low, covered, for 8 minutes, 

rotating once so the front of the pizza moves to the back of the grill.

Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica...