A "sure hit" appetizer that will please the dinner guests.
A pizza stone is important to make the pizza, but otherwise no special kitchen equipment is needed.
For the Thin-Crust Pizza Dough:
1 teaspoon of Active Dry Yeast
2 cups of Bread Flour
¼ teaspoon of Salt
¼ teaspoon of Sugar
4 cloves of Garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 cup of lukewarm Water (110 degrees)
1 teaspoon of dried Italian Herbs
¼ teaspoons of Black Pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon of ground Cayenne Red Pepper
¼ teaspoon of White Pepper
For the Pizza Toppings (Pre-Cooking):
A light layer of Italian Tomato Sauce (see recipe for "Italian Tomato Sauce")
1 to 1 ½ cups of Mozzarella Cheese
2 tablespoons of a spicy Salami, chopped
1 tablespoon of Kalamata Olives, chopped
2 tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 tablespoons of Artichoke Hearts, chopped
For the Pizza Toppings (After Cooking):
8-10 ounces of Arugula
8-10 baby of Grape Tomatoes
4 Green Onions, chopped
10 of small-to-medium Basil Leaves, chopped
1-1½ tablespoons Vinaigrette – to taste (see recipe for “Vinaigrette”)
To Prepare the Pizza with Arugula Topping:
Place ¼ to 1/3 of the warm water in a large bowl and sprinkle sugar and the yeast into the water. Stir until dissolved and let sit in a warm, draft-free location for 5 to 7 minutes. Add remaining water and oil and stir well. Add all remaining ingredients and stir together until you can no longer work the dough with the spoon. Remove the dough and scrape the bowl placing all ingredients on a lightly floured counter. Pat the dough into a ball and flatten slightly. If the dough is too sticky add additional flour into the dough as you knead – if the dough is very dry add a little water into the dough as you knead. Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away from you with a rolling motion. Rotate the dough one quarter each time you repeat this process. Continue kneading the dough in this way until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Then continue kneading for 5 to 10 minutes. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover it with a clean towel. Place it in a warm, draft-free location such as an oven or microwave) and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Once the dough has risen -- refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Preheat Oven to 500 degrees (bake - not broil)
When you’re ready to make your pizza – place the dough on a lightly floured counter and knead the dough as you did above only this time, the goal is to create a flat round pizza dough. Use a round pizza pan with holes in it if possible and lightly spray. Even better – if you have a pizza stone heat your pizza stone in the oven and cook your pizza on the stone. Put your crust in the oven for a very brief period (2 to 3 minutes to slightly cook the dough). Take the crust out of the oven –let it cool slightly and then put your toppings on it.
Once the crust has cooled slightly top with tomato sauce, as well as the mozzarella cheese, salami, Kalamata Olives, parmesan cheese and artichoke hearts. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted set aside and let cool slightly.
In a separate bowl combine arugula, tomatoes, green onions and refrigerate while pizza is cooking. Just before serving, mix vinaigrette in with arugula tomatoes and green onions. Cut the pizza into serving size pieces and put on the serving plate, spoon salad mixture over pizza slices and serve. The pepper flavor in the arugula and the pepper flavor of the pizza dough compliment nicely with the Al Lago Wines that contain the varietal Syrah.