white pizza with avocado, arugula, and mozzarella

DSC05116I did it! I made pizza from scratch. Pizza on the griddle.

I used two dough balls of pizza dough  to make two “small” pizzas, each about  6-8 inches in diameter. I used arugula (also called rocket salad) instead of spinach. That’s about the only substitution for this White Pizza recipe from The Kitchn. Once I got past making that quirky recipe for pizza dough, making the pizza was quite easy. Each one took just 6 minutes to make in a griddle pan on the stove top. As you can see, the crust puffed up quite nicely. It just goes to show that you do not need a grill nor an oven to make a delicious pizza.

Every once in a while I like to have a White Pizza. Tomato sauces can be heavy! This white sauce is creamy and garlicky. The avocado is best if it is a little on the just ripe side; then it’s firm and won’t get mushy when it is heated. Besides swapping arugula for spinach, I’d like to add some chopped ripe olives to this pizza. How was the crust? Well, it was chewy but not doughy. It’s what I would call a substantial crust, thin but satisfying. To make the crust crispy and light like a cracker–that’s another challenge.

White Pizza with Avocado, Arugula, and Mozzarella

White Sauce
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used home-made ricotta that I’d frozen)
1/8 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup whole milk (the milk and cream combined make half-and-half)
2 large cloves garlic, minced (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pizza for Two (6-8 inches each)
2 balls of pizza dough
Couple handfuls of arugula (preferably organic)
1 small round of mozzarella cheese cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 avocado, peeled and sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

If the dough was in the refrigerator, let it rest about one-half to one hour. It depends on how hot it is in your kitchen!

Prep the white sauce. Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

I oiled my granite pastry board and put a dough round on it. Using my fingertips (also oiled) I stretched and pulled the dough into a rough circle. If the dough springs back, let it rest a few minutes.

Meanwhile spray a griddle pan with olive oil or brush it with olive oil. Heat it on high then put the dough circle in the middle of the pan. Let it cook on one side 1-3 minutes or until the underside begins to get brown marks from the griddle. Flip it over and turn the heat down to low.

Working quickly, spread about 2-3 tablespoons of white sauce on the browned top. Sprinkle on a few red onion slices and cover with shredded arugula. Put about 3 slices of avocado on top and 3 slices of mozzarella on top of the avocado. I covered pizza in the griddle with a pot cover, the inside of which I sprayed with oil to prevent the cheese sticking to the cover. It took 3 minutes to melt the cheese and brown the bottom of the pizza. Repeat.

To serve, grind some sea salt or Himalayan pink salt and a few turns of cracked pepper. Enjoy!

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