Brushed with pesto and then topped with fresh tomatoes and arugula,
this Bruschetta Pizza is a delicious summer meal!
Ah, bruschetta, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. There is something so rewarding about creating a fresh and easy snack using fresh summer ingredients. Wait, did I just say snack? Forget that! I often eat bruschetta by itself for lunch during the summer. Once our garden goes into overdrive, we’re always looking for ways to use fresh tomatoes…and bruschetta is one of the easiest ways ever! Plus, we all know about my penchant for baking bread, right? I just toast up several slices of Italian bread, rub the crusty bread with fresh garlic and then top it with tomatoes and olive oil. Easy delicious lunch. Done.
There’s a restaurant right around the corner from us that makes some really excellent wood-fired pizzas. They’ve got legit beer choices on tap, too. And to make it even better, they offer a happy hour deal with a pizza + a draft beer for $9. (It used to by $8, but I guess inflation got to them, too.) Add in the delicious bread that just magically disappears from the basket, and I’m a happy camper! One of my favorite pizzas there is a Bruschetta Pizza that is topped with garlic, tomatoes, basil and arugula (or rocket for you European folks).
Can we talk about arugula/rocket for a moment? We planted a row of it several years ago in our garden. It grew well, and we enjoyed the peppery flavor it brought to our summer salads. Then the next year, we noticed that it came back on it’s own. How it survived the upstate New York winter, I have no idea…but it did. And then the next year it came back again. Each time it expanded until it has now taken over an entire bed of our garden. Heck, I even found some stray arugula growing in the grass next to the garden. Let me tell ya…when you mow over arugula, it’ll wake you up. It smells like you just dumped a bucket of peppercorns into the lawn mower.
In an effort to use that arugula in our garden, I decided to grill up a Bruschetta Pizza for dinner the other night. I took a batch of our homemade pizza dough, topped it with some basil pesto, tomatoes, garlic, mozzarella and of course arugula. The result was a delicious and colorful pizza! And since I grilled the pizza, it had a nice summer grilled flavor mixed in there, too. (You could absolutely just bake the pizza dough like normal, but I decided to pull out the grill for a bit of fun.)
Have you ever mowed arugula? (It only takes one time to know…)
Did you make this Bruschetta Pizza at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
Looking for other tasty pizza recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
- 1 batch of pizza dough homemade or store-bought
- 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
- ¼ cup prepared pesto homemade or store-bought
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh arugula
- ¼ cup shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
- Preheat grill to high heat. (Note: Something in the range of 450-500°F is ideal.)
- On a lightly-floured countertop, roll the pizza dough out into a large circle. Sprinkle a pizza peel (or the bottom of a baking sheet) generously with cornmeal. Place the dough on the peel.
- In a small dish, combine the pesto, salt, pepper and garlic; set aside.
- Slide the dough on the grill, close cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. (Tip: Keep a close eye at this stage as the bottom of the dough can burn quickly!)
- Flip the dough over and brush the pesto mixture evenly across the dough, leaving a 1” edge on all sides. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese evenly across dough. Brush edges of the pizza with 1 Tbsp olive oil.
- Close grill cover. Close air vents (on charcoal grill). (For gas, reduce temperature to medium.) Cook for 3-5 more minutes, or until cheese has fully melted and dough is fully cooked.
- Using a large bowl, toss the diced tomatoes and chopped basil leaves with the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil.
- Transfer pizza from grill onto a cutting board; immediately top pizza with the tomato/basil mixture. Finish by topping with fresh arugula and shaved Parmesan.