A non-traditional pizza is just what you need to get out of your pizza take-out rut! Why not try this White Bean and Goat Cheese Sauce Pizza with Sun Dried Tomato and Arugula for starters?
Who doesn’t love pizza? And, really, why shouldn’t we? Pizza is an internationally recognized food that comes in a variety of flavours and styles. When most people think about pizza, I bet you think of a large slice of thin crust, dripping with cheese and pepperoni. Am I right?
I have to admit, that pretty much describes the pizza I will get if we are ordering delivery on a Friday night. When it comes to pizza, there are so many pizza shops – pretty much one on every corner – I feel it’s a safe bet to order cheese and pepperoni. There’s no way a pizza joint could mess up something so classically simple! Or at least one can hope!
But, whenever I make pizza at home, it’s a different story. I never make a pizza that has pepperoni and cheese. Why? Because, why would I? I realize that it’s a classic combination, but at home, I’m in full control. I know what I like and I know how to combine the toppings so that there’s an explosion of flavour.
In addition to the flavour combinations, I have mastered a very simple and rustic pizza crust recipe. I’ve featured the recipe here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen numerous times now. It’s a recipe that is not only easy, but foolproof. It’s a dough that comes together in 15 minutes.
My pizza dough recipe is not only hard to mess up, it has the perfect chew and/or moist factor. I like a crust to be well done, meaning, no uncooked dough in the middle, but at the same time, I don’t want a crust that’s over-baked to the point of it being dry. Oh, and it has to have a golden brown colour on the bottom!
The crust also needs to be the right thickness. I do enjoy a thin crust pizza and as far as I’m concerned, it has it’s place in the world, but it’s not the right crust for this particular pizza. If the pizza is heavy with toppings, a thin crust will not cut it. Save the thin crusts for those pizza joints who are going to bring you a pepperoni and cheese pizza!
My pizza crust is not too thick, it’s not too thin, it’s not too crispy, it’s not too doughy – like I said, it’s just right! Now, unlike most pizzas, which uses tomato sauce, this particular pizza doesn’t. I’m using a very thick sauce made with white beans, garlic, olive oil, and goat cheese. It has the consistency of hummus – and it’s soooooooooo good!
For the toppings, I wanted to keep it simple and elegant. I’m using sun dried tomato sauce, which is so easy to prepare. You can find the recipe on my blog. Just use sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil if you don’t care to make the sauce. I’m also using crumbled goat cheese rather than mozzarella.
I do love a gooey pizza; one that’s piping hot and features a very salty and stretchy mozzarella, but this pizza does not have the goo-factor. For the cheese topping, I mimicked the goat cheese in the sauce, by crumbling goat cheese on top of the pizza as well. I also used grated parmesan cheese.
You see that red-ish/orange colour? That’s the colour of the oil from the sun dried tomato sauce seeping throughout the white bean sauce. It adds such a depth of flavour and most certainly compliments the goat cheese and garlic in the sauce!
To me, what really kicks this pizza into high gear is the pepperiness from the arugula and the heat from the sprinkling of the dried red chili flakes on top. It’s funny how this pizza all comes together into one cohesive unit after the pizza comes out of the oven!
Overall, this is a pizza totally worth the extra long title. After all, just calling it a White Bean Pizza, like I had initially thought about doing, didn’t do the pizza justice. White Bean and Goat Cheese Sauce Pizza with Sun Dried Tomato and Arugula deserves more; nay, it is more!
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White Bean and Goat Cheese Sauce Pizza with Sun Dried Tomato and Arugula
For the Pizza Crust:
- 3/4 cup warm tap water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Sauce:
- 1 1/4 cups white beans, if using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse well
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomato sauce, see notes
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional
- 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped, optional
For the Pizza Crust
- Fill a metal mixing bowl with hot tap water and set aside for a few minutes. This will temper the bowl and help to ensure the yeast will properly activate.
- Pour the hot water out of the bowl and wipe the bowl dry. Add the warm tap water and the yeast. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the yeast into the water for no more than 5-10 seconds. Set aside and let the yeast bubble and foam for at least 3 minutes.
- Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Stir in the basil and oregano.
- Add the olive oil to the yeast and water mixture. Stir for a few seconds. Pour in the entire flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until the liquid is absorbed.
- Sprinkle your clean counter top with a little flour and empty the dough out. Knead the dough together for 4-5 minutes until a dough ball is formed. Place the dough back into the metal mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel, and set the bowl aside. Let the dough sit for five minutes.
- Next, prepare a pizza pan by brushing it with a little olive oil. Set aside. Also, preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
- When the dough is ready, sprinkle a clean counter top with a little flour and roll the dough into a 1/4 inch round. Aim for a 14 inch flat pizza round. Transfer the rolled dough to the prepared pan. Set aside and prepare the sauce.
For the Sauce:
- Add all sauce ingredients to a food processor and blend until very smooth. (Keep 1/4 cup of the beans aside for later.)
- Smear all of the bean sauce evenly over the entire surface of the pizza dough.
- Top the pizza with small dollops of the sun dried tomato sauce. (Or, if using sun dried tomatoes, evenly distribute them over the top of the pizza.)
- Sprinkle over the remaining 1/4 cup of white beans.
- Next, crumble the goat cheese evenly over top.
- Bake pizza on the middle rack in pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how well-done you like the crust.
- While the pizza is baking, toss the arugula with the olive oil and set aside.
- Remove pizza from oven and top with prepared arugula, fresh basil, (optional) dried red chili flakes, (optional) and parmesan cheese. Slice into 8 equal pieces and serve immediately!
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