Friday, February 27, 2015

Balsamic and Tomato White Pizza

We are big pizza lovers in our house. Pizza is definitely one of my favorite foods, and I'd probably eat it every day if that was a choice. Clearly, it's not, but a girl can dream.

We make homemade pizza just about once every week, and though we often stick to a simple cheese pizza, Rich decided to switch it up recently, and with delicious results! He loves to play with recipes, and is almost always spot on with his experimenting. Last week, we tried a tomato and balsamic white pizza topped with arugula, and it was one of the best we've made. I thought I'd share in case you want to try it out, too!

We usually start with a wheat dough ball from our grocery store. We've made homemade dough many times, and when I do make it, I usually use this great recipe from the Pioneer Woman. On a weeknight, though, a premade dough is a shortcut that definitely helps. Either way, it will be delicious!

I take the dough out of the fridge as soon as I get home, so it has plenty of time to get to room temperature. Sometimes, we set it by the wood stove to speed up the process. It doesn't need to be hot by any means, but a cold dough is hard to stretch out, so room temperature is what you're aiming for (at least an hour).

While you're waiting, pull out your other ingredients: olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, fresh and shredded mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinegar.

Before you start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

First, turn the dough out on a floured cutting board. Shape it into a flat, disc-like shape and stretch it out a bit.

If the dough tears, like ours did above, just pinch it back together or add a small chunk from the edge. It'll be okay, I promise.

Next, if you're using a baking pan as opposed to a pizza stone, coat it with liberally some olive oil so it doesn't stick. Spread the dough out onto the pan, shaping it into a rectangle and stretching it to a fairly even thickness.

Then, spread garlic all over the dough, using as much or as little as you like. We sometimes use jarred, minced garlic and sometimes grate our own. Whatever you have on hand is fine!

Next comes the Parmesan cheese. We had a block of Parm so Rich grated that up, but again, whatever you have will work. Give the crust a good coating of cheese.

After the Parmesan, add a whole bunch of shredded mozzarella. Are you sensing a theme? Yep- cheese. :)

Next, dice up some fresh mozzarella (we quartered cherry-size Ciliegine) and some tomatoes (we used cherry tomatoes). Add them to the pizza. Rich is a hesitant tomato-eater, so we don't add tons, but you can certainly add as much tomato as you'd like.

The last step is to drizzle the whole thing with some balsamic vinegar, and then pop it into a preheated oven for 15 minutes.

This is a good time to prep your arugula. I wash it and take the stems off, so we're just putting the leafy parts on the pizza.

Yes, I eat off of sectioned dishes, and yes, I eat strawberries with pizza. I eat fruit with just about any meal, any time. :)

After 15 minutes, I check the pizza, rotate the pan for even cooking, and add 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, check it again. I look for all or almost all of the liquid that formed on the top during cooking to be re absorbed and cooked off. If your pizza has some liquid in the center still, give it a few more minutes to set. I'd say we end up usually baking it 20-25 minutes in all. It's good to check on it a couple of times (at the 15 and 20 minute marks) so it doesn't overcook. Your oven might run hotter or cooler than mine, so just use your judgement. I would add more time before I turned up the temperature, though, because your crust can quickly get too hard in a too hot oven.

It's helpful if you have a cute pizza making buddy. Yes, of course I mean Rich. But I also mean this girl. :)

Once the pizza is done, take it out and let it cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then, I use a spatula to lift it around the edges to be sure it didn't stick in any spots before I try to pull it off the pan. Next, just use the spatula to slide it out of the pan and onto a cutting board.

Add the arugula, slice, and enjoy! This is one of our favorite pizzas to make at home now!

Here's the recipe, all in one spot:

Balsamic and Tomato White Pizza

1 pound of wheat pizza dough (make it yourself, or buy it from the store)
Minced garlic (eyeball it, coating the dough)
1/4 (approx) cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (approx) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (approx) diced fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup (approx) diced tomatoes or sliced cherry tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Stretch the pizza dough onto an oiled pan. Top dough with minced garlic to taste, then sprinkle on grated Parm and shredded mozzarella. Top with diced fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Bake for 15 minutes, and check it, rotating the pan for even cooking. Continue to bake in 5 minute increments until the liquid on the top has cooked off and cheese in center is melted fully. Let cool on the pan for a few minutes, then top with arugula. Slice and enjoy!
Do you make pizza at home? What do you top it with? We are always up for new ideas!

Also, in case you missed it earlier in the week, check out our mini-road trip here!


  1. This looks delicious! I totally want to make it for my husband, he would love it!

  2. Three types of cheese?! That's my kind of pizza! ;)

  3. My kind of pizza! It looks fantastic.

    1. Thank you! It is definitely a new favorite in our house!


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