So remember on Friday when I mentioned that because I can be a perfectionist with this blog that I sometimes make a recipe 2 to 3 times before I post it? Well, this recipe was one of those recipes. I actually only made this 2 times, but still, it was 2 times within the course of a week. I figured it was OK since it’s a pretty healthy meal and my kids always are happy to eat pizza, even if it’s on a whole-wheat crust.
This pizza is super easy to make, even easier than my sausage skillet pizza. I know a lot of you wanted to try that pizza but either did not have a skillet or were a bit intimated by the thought of cooking a pizza in a skillet. So, here is a pizza that everyone can make.It’s your basic run of the mill cheese pizza except that you are replacing the tomato sauce with a roasted red pepper puree and topping it all on a thin and crispy whole-wheat pizza crust. Isn’t that genius? Red peppers are so good for you and this is an easy and delicious way to get them into your diet. I even think that if you had picky kids they would love this pizza (maybe just add a bit more cheese to disguise the red pepper sauce a bit more).
My kids loved this pizza, seriously, I’m not lying. They thought the red pepper sauce tasted as good as any tomato sauce and they didn’t complain about it being on a whole-wheat crust. I honestly don’t think they even noticed that it was on a whole-wheat crust till I mentioned it. They even liked the arugula on top! My kids are becoming way more experimental with food since I started this blog. They will try and eat just about anything I make. They are now even starting to like my “mommy” dishes. Zoe has been begging me to make my chickpea burgers again, so I am whipping up a batch of those tomorrow.
roasted red pepper and arugula whole-wheat pizza:
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Note: The roasted red pepper sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated till needed.
- 6 ounces roasted red peppers (about 3), roasted and peeled – see my instructions below on how to roast a red pepper
- 1 pound whole-wheat pizza dough – you can use regular pizza dough here as well if you don’t like whole-wheat crusts. I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat crust.
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced – you can also buy the shredded mozzarella and make it easy on yourself.
- extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- cornmeal for baking sheets
- arugula to top the pizza
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. You can find organic red peppers at most grocery stores this time of year. I roasted 4 because I was using one for a panini sandwich later (recipe to follow next week). Cut the red peppers in half lengthwise and pull out all the seeds and membranes. I cut the core and stem out with a knife and then used my melon baller to get all the membranes and seeds out. Place the peppers cut side down on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Roast them for about 30 minutes; until they are blackened and blistered, rotating the sheet if necessary for them to cook evenly. Below is what mine looked like after about 25 minutes.Remove the peppers from the baking sheet and place them in a bowl. Cover the bowl with the foil or a plate and let cool. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and the charred black bits and discard them.
Put the peeled peppers into a blender.
In a blender, puree peppers until smooth. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into a bowl if you’re not using it right away, and refrigerate until needed. If you’re using the puree right away, then just keep it in the blender for easy pouring.Now, lets move onto the pizza. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Slice up your cheese, toss some arugula with a splash of olive oil and set aside.On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a rectangle shape. You can also roll the dough out into 2 circles, one large circle or 4 small circles. It’s really up to you.
We chose to make one large rectangular pizza.
Easy peasy!Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal and shape to fit the pizza dough onto the pan.The corn meal helps to keep the pizza dough from sticking to the pan and also helps to make the pizza crust a bit more crunchy and taste like its from an actual pizzeria.Brush the edges of the dough with some olive oil. This helps to crisp up the crust.Top the dough with the red pepper puree (as you would a tomato sauce) making sure to leave a 1-inch border on the sides. Top the pizza with the mozzarella cheese and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 minutes. Top the pizza with the arugula. Slice it up and serve with your favorite salad or vegetable. We paired the pizza with some roasted asparagus, but I also love to pair it up with my lacinato kale salad.Since we were eating so healthy, I treated us to this for dessert.Cacao nib and cocoa shortbread ice-cream sandwiches.
What are some of your favorite pizza recipes?