I fell back into my usual groove and hauled out the food processor to whirl together our favorite whole-wheat pizza dough with ease. While the dough was off relaxing, letting the yeast become happy and fed, I didn't have much prep work to do. This pizza calls for pesto, and I already had plenty in the freezer as I made sure to get a ton prepared when our basil plants were going crazy this summer. If I didn't have any already or didn't feel like throwing together a batch myself (though it only takes a few minutes!), I would certainly take the help and pick up a jar or tub from the market!
While I didn't have to make the pesto, I did hack away at a stalk of broccoli to chop the florets, slice up a mound of arugula and grate almost a full block of mozzarella cheese! Whew... what a work out - hee hee! When the dough had risen, we stretched it out into a large, but thin round, and slid it right onto a heated baking stone to start browning the crust. Because the broccoli and arugula will be lightly steamed, the pizza only needs to be baked long enough to melt the cheese... which wouldn't be enough time for the crust to get crispy!
On the top of the partially baked crust, we slathered over the sharp pesto - which to me, at first, almost looked like an excessive amount. Before scattering the crisp-tender broccoli and wilted arugula (which was just done quickly in a skillet while the crust was baking) on top, I did double check to make sure it was well-seasoned with salt and fresh ground black pepper to ensure they would pop. The mozzarella was feeling left out of the love, so we took care to gingerly arrange each white shred to melt just right over the vegetables. Well, ok - you got me... that's a bit over the top and we did not do that... but it sounded good!
I figured as much, and Jeff let me know before hand, that he wasn't expecting much with all those "good for you" ingredients smattering the top of this pizza... but you know what? While I did think that pesto layer was a bit heavy going on, the combination of the dynamic arugula and broccoli with the pesto made for a dinner that was not just healthy, but down right delightful! Jeff even gave it two big thumbs up and suggested this stay near the top when we have another repeat night. I thought about using a more assertive cheese, but we appreciated the mildness of the mozzarella. If the peppery arugula just comes across as being too bitter to you, don't skip this because of that - just use a milder spinach instead (though I would suggest a dash or two of crushed red pepper to add a zing).