Looking for dinner ideas recently, I was rummaging through the fridge of ingredients that I had on hand so that I could come up with a homemade pizza that would combat my cravings! Bill had pulled the pre-made Trader Joe’s dough from the freezer earlier as I planned to prepare some sort of thin crust variety! I found a bit of homemade red sauce and pulled some shrimp in the deep freeze. I also spotted an abundance of fresh Arugula, which I’m thrilled is more readily available these days then it used to be! You can often find it in the pre-washed bagged lettuce section. Not everyone loves this leafy green, but we do! Due to its peppery flavor, arugula is often mixed with other milder greens such as watercress and romaine when served as a salad, but in Italy, it is common to top pizza with arugula after baking.
It’s an edible annual plant that is a less recognized calciferous vegetable (containing or producing calcium salts, especially calcium carbonate) that provides many of the same benefits as the notoriously nutritious better-known options such as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. Arugula leaves are tender and bite-sized with a bit of a tangy flavor. I think it has more flavor than spinach or Swiss chard. Along with other leafy greens, arugula contains very high nitrate levels. High intakes of dietary nitrate have been shown to lower blood pressure, which is always a good thing for Bill!
Pizza Crust, I choose Trader Joe’s, split into two so it’s thin!
Red Sauce, reduced or Pizza Sauce
Onion, caramelized in Olive Oil
Heart of Palm, sliced
Shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Pecorino Romano Cheese, shredded
Parmesan Cheese, shredded
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Fresh Lemon juice, squeezed over greens
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll your dough to your desired thickness using a healthy dose of flour. Then spread out the dough on a baking stone and pre-bake it for five or six minutes. It may have a few bubbles, but they will deflate once you start to load it. Meanwhile, reduce the red sauce and caramelize the onions in the olive oil.
I flip it before adding the sauce. I think it’s important to pre-bake the pizza crust because it helps with the end result for a nice and crisp bite.
Chop the heart of palm and shred the cheese. Clean, de-vein and cut the shrimp into halves.
Add the toppings on top of the sauce.
Bake pizza for about fifteen minutes, then check them to see doneness. Depending on the amount of toppings, or the crispiness you desire – you may need to add a few minutes to the baking time.
Heart of Palm is an interesting vegetable that I discovered at one of Costco’s sample tables. They were serving them straight out of the jar with Ranch dressing. Though it is possible to find them fresh, more often you come across them canned or packed in glass jars. They are harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees. The texture is soft, yet firm to the touch and they have a mild, sort of salty sweetness. They remind me a bit like artichokes, but the flavor is more similar to a water chestnut.
Once the pizza is cooked, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes to set up before adding the fresh arugula and grated Parmesan cheese. Give it a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!
We enjoyed this pizza paired with one of my favorites; a 2012 Pine Ridge Charmstone Red Blend.
Bill gave it two thumbs up! We love the thin crust, with the fresh toppings!