Pesto Pizza with Ricotta, Peas and Arugula

May 2017 View more

Yield: 2 (12-inch) or 4 (8-inch) pizzas

Mint-Arugula Pesto
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup arugula, stemmed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare pesto: In a food processor add garlic, almonds, herbs, and arugula; pulse until minced, scraping the bowl with a spatula between pulses. Add cheese, lemon juice and oil; pulse until thoroughly incorporated but still textured (add more olive oil if needed). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. The pesto can be made up to a few days ahead; cover with plastic wrap to prevent oxidation.

1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese, strained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for arugula
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arugula, stemmed
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed (if frozen)
1 cup finely grated Mozzarella cheese
1 recipe Perfect Pizza Dough (see p. 96)

To prepare ricotta: Stir together ricotta, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, pepper flakes and zest in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To prepare arugula: Drizzle arugula with olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.

Prepare a hot charcoal fire, preheat a gas grill to high or heat a large grill pan over high heat. Brush grill grates or grill pan with oil. Dust work surface with flour and roll out dough. Flatten one dough ball to a thickness of 1/2 inch, and roll to desired diameter that will fit your grilling surface until it is 1/4-inch thick.

Transfer to a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with another piece of parchment and proceed with remaining dough. Carefully transfer dough rounds to grill grates; cover and cook until grill marks appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Open grill lid and transfer dough rounds to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough rounds. Decrease the heat to medium.

Flip each dough round so grill marks face up, brush with olive oil and top with a thin layer of pesto. Top each round with dollops of ricotta cheese, peas and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper and return topped dough rounds to grill; cover and grill until cheese melts and crust is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer pizzas to serving plates; top with arugula and serve immediately.

Perfect Pizza Dough
1/4 cup warm water
2-1/4 teaspoons yeast
3-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing

Place the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle with the yeast. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir to dissolve, if necessary. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and mix at a low speed to combine. Add the water and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Shape the dough into a smooth ball, place it on a floured surface and cover with an inverted bowl, plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature for about 90 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

When ready use a large knife or scraper to divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. With lightly floured hands press out any bubbles and form each piece into a small, smooth ball.

This dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 24 hours or frozen up to a month. Roll the crust a bit thicker to support a lot of toppings, or keep your toppings spare and packed with flavor for a thin crust.

This recipe is part of Sur la Table’s Pizza on the Grill cooking class offered at its Naperville location (55 South Main Street, 630.428.1086) in May. For more info and reservations visit and click “Classes.”