Parmageddon Day 4: White Bean and Arugula Pizza with Truffle and Parmesan

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 4 brings is to using parmesan as a topping. Of course there is the grated variety, but one of the many amazing things about parmesan in particular is the ability to also shave it. Larger chunks of thinly shaved salty bites are perfect for topping on salads and bruschetta in particular. Here I did a wonderful recipe inspired by a favorite flatbread I have at Salish Lodge up here near our house. Delicious freshly baked pizza dough provides a perfect base for creamy truffle-infused white bean puree. On top, mounds of fresh lightly dressed arugula adds spice and lots and lots of shaved parmesan cheese for a perfect finish right on top makes this a favorite recipe you'll do over and over again. Using store-bought pizza dough and canned white beans makes this dish come together in just minutes. Enjoy. 

White Bean and Arugula Pizza with Truffle and Parmesan
1 store-bought pizza dough
1 (12 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed in cold water
2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil 
1/4 tsp truffle oil 
1 bunch arugula (or about 3 cups worth), rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
juice of 1/2 lemon
wedge of parmesan cheese

Take the dough and leave on counter to come to room temperature, about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to roll out (and less likely to tear). Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

First make the bean puree. Add the drained beans, garlic, some salt and pepper to taste to the bowl of a food processor. Process the ingredients until they become well chopped. Then removing the feeder tube at the top, turn the processor on and begin drizzling olive oil. You want the consistency to be a good thick paste, but easy enough to spread. I use around 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil.  Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings to taste, add the truffle oil and process another 10 seconds to mix it in. Taste and do another final adjustment of seasonings to taste, and set aside. 

Now prepare the pizza. I like to make 4 individual sized pizzas from one store-bought ball of dough. I find it easier to eat this way, but you can go ahead and make one very large pizza if you like, or two larger, 4 smaller, 6 appetizer portion, etc. Cut the dough into desired amounts of pizza, then roll out each piece to 1/4" thickness. You can use a rolling pin for a more uniform look or simply using your hands and fingers, gently stretch the dough out starting from the center and working your way outward until you get the thickness you like. By hand makes it look more rustic. 

Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper, then gently transfer the rolled dough disks onto the paper, spacing out about an inch between dough. Brush the tops with olive oil and bake in oven until golden brown on top, around 10-15 minutes. Turn the pans once during cooking.

As the pizza stands to cool, quickly toss the arugula. Place the arugula in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the lemon juice on top and drizzle with enough olive oil to just moisten the leaves. Gently toss the arugula until well coated. Set aside.

To assemble, take a cooked pizza dough and spread a generous portion of the bean puree right on top. Make sure to get close enough to the edges, as the puree will act as a "glue" to help keep the arugula on top. Add the arugula in a generous mound, then shave the parmesan cheese directly on top. A simple vegetable grater or cheese grater work great for this. Serve immediately.

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