Salad is fine and all but salad's nothing compared to pizza. That's why I love arugula and prosciutto pizza. It's salad and pizza in one.
I first experienced this glorious combo at Eataly L.A. where, if memory serves, the pizza also came topped with fresh burrata. Jimmy and I were a little skeptical when we ordered it. He's more of a meat lovers kinda guy, but we both love an arugula salad so we gave it a try. And it was so, so good.
Ever since we bought a baking steel a few months ago, we've been making pizzas multiple times a week. The baking steel creates scorching hot oven temps that allow pizza dough to cook to crispy, blistered perfection in under 5 minutes. So when we found ourselves with some leftover prosciutto from chicken cordon bleu grilled cheese, it only made sense to try making arugula and prosciutto pizza ourselves.
For this I used an 8 oz (~220 grams) ball of pizza dough. I almost never make just a single portion of pizza dough. I usually make a half batch of the official Baking Steel 72-hour fermented pizza dough, which I divide into 3 and store in BPA-free 32 oz deli containers in the fridge. The thin, crispy crust is more than sturdy enough to hold up the prosciutto and arugula.
There's no sauce here — just olive oil with minced garlic, shallot, and rosemary that gets spooned onto the dough. (Pro-tip: Buy a potted rosemary plant at your grocery store and keep it in a bright window. Give it lots of water and it will basically last you forever.)
A thick smattering of low-moisture mozzarella shredded on a box grater goes down next (never buy the pre-shredded stuff), followed by a few slices of prosciutto. The pizza takes a quick spin on the baking steel — about four minutes total. It's just enough time to toss a couple handfuls of arugula with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
The arugula is peppery with lots of bright acid from the lemon juice. The prosciutto is salty with crispy edges from the broiler. Those contrasting flavors with the richness of the cheese and the garlic and rosemary on the crust are really just so tasty. Honestly, if you're looking for a perfect summer pizza — arugula and prosciutto are really hard to beat.
notes on the perfect pizza
- I like to tear the prosciutto before I put it down on the pizza. This is both so that I don't take a bite and have the whole piece of prosciutto slide off and also so that I can drape and arrange the prosciutto so that it's not flat. This exposes more edges and angles to the broiler in the oven and means more crispy bits!
- My favorite way to cook pizza is on a baking steel, which preheats on the top rack of the oven for an hour at 500F before use. The baking steel absorbs that heat, which helps replicate the 800F temps of a pizza oven.
- You can use any thin crust pizza dough you like here, or even store bought pizza dough. If you don't have a baking steel, just follow the baking instructions for that recipe, rather than my baking instructions below. Other pizza doughs I like are: Joy Huang's sourdough discard dough, and Roberta's pizza dough.
- When I make pizza dough in bulk and divide it into portions to keep in the fridge, I store it in 32 oz BPA-free deli soup containers. This keeps the gluten from relaxing too much and helps the dough keep a circular shape. The containers might seem a bit tall, but I’ve tried 16 oz deli containers and the dough rose so much the lids popped off in the fridge.
- To transfer the pizza into the oven I use a 50/50 blend of semolina flour and all purpose flour. The semolina flour is a larger grain and works kind of like ball bearings, so the pizza can easily slide off the wooden peel and onto the steel. If you don't have a pizza peel, put the pizza on a sheet of parchment paper and use the back of a sheet pan to slide it into the oven.
- IMPORTANT: If you're using a wooden peel, give the assembled pizza a few good shakes back and forth on it to make sure the dough isn't stuck. If it is, gently pick up the stuck edge and dust some semolina flour under it.
you may also like
- breakfast pizza with béchamel sauce and a fried egg on top
- chicken marsala pizza
- chicken cordon bleu grilled cheese
arugula and prosciutto pizza
- 1 portion pizza dough (homemade or store bought, approx 8 oz or 200 grams)
- semolina flour (for sliding the pizza off the peel)
- all purpose flour (for dusting)
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (minced or microplaned)
- 1 small shallot (minced or microplaned)
- 3 pieces prosciutto
- 1½ cups baby arugula
- juice of half a lemon (1 tablespoon)
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ¾ cup low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella
- An hour before you're ready to make your pizza, arrange the baking steel so that it's on the top rack of your oven and preheat the oven at 500°F. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
- When you're ready to assemble your pizza, combine minced garlic, shallot, and rosemary with olive oil. Grate the mozzarella on the large holes of a box grater and set aside.
- Plop your dough down on a generously floured clean countertop, and dust the surface with even more flour.
- Pick the dough up in both hands with your fingertips and thumbs pointing down. The dough will begin to stretch toward the counter. Rotate the dough through your hands, letting the dough stretch downward as you go. Gravity will do most of the work, so be gentle and patient so you don't tear the dough.
- When the dough is about 7-8" across, lay it flat on your counter and slide your hands under it with your palms against the counter. Stretch the dough on the backs of your hands by lifting them and and gently stretching them apart, rotating the dough between each stretch. If the dough gets too thin or you're worried it's going to tear, you can also lay it flat on the counter, gently pick up an edge of the dough with both hands, and hold it just a few inches off the counter to control the stretch as the dough gets thinner.
- When the dough is thin in the center with a thicker crust and about 12-16" across, dust the pizza peel with a 50/50 blend of AP and semolina flour (about 1½ tablespoon of each) and slide it under the dough. It helps if you have a second set of hands here so one person can lift the dough and the other can slide the peel under.
- Work quickly to assemble the pizza so that the dough doesn't stick to the peel. Brush the surface with the olive oil mixture and top it with the grated mozzarella. Then arrange the prosciutto across the pizza, tearing it into a few big pieces with your hands. Let it drape and tent over itself so that lots of edges and corners are pointing up toward the broiler.
- Right before you cook the pizza, turn the broiler on. Shake the pizza back and forth on the peel to make sure it hasn't stuck, then launch the pizza into the oven on the baking steel. Set a timer for 2 minutes.
- Rotate the pizza and turn the broiler off. Cook for 2 more minutes. If it still looks pale, give it one more minute.
- While the pizza is cooking, toss the arugula with the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- When the pizza is done, remove it from the oven. Top it with the arugula, cut it into slices and serve immediately.
- If you aren't serving this immediately, wait to dress the arugula and arrange it on top until right before serving.
- If you don't have a baking steel, follow the baking times and temperatures from whatever recipe you used instead of following my baking instructions.