Cara, don’t tease me. Said with a look of seriousness by my dear friend Lindsay when I said I’d bring over one of her favorite meals – California Pizza Kitchen’s BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad – for a girls’ night in.
And why would I tease anyone when it comes to food? I’ve gotten myself all psyched up to eat my favorite dish at a particular restaurant, and after craving it for days, learned that they stopped making it. I’ve been promised by friends or family members that they’d make something in particular that I love, only to turn up and see that they decided to make something else (I suppose they’re allowed to do that.) I’ve seen gorgeous figs in the grocery store, and dreamed up a grilled pizza covered with ricotta and honey and figs and arugula, only to find that the figs were a fluke – never to appear again. There might be nothing worse than being teased by food.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about that pizza, so I had to find another way. Grapes! I wouldn’t go around substituting them in ever fig dish, but their sweetness certainly pairs well with salty ricotta and spicy arugula. And they look pretty too.
A certain husband of mind suggested something else that might make this look even prettier and taste even better next time: a drizzle of balsamic reduction all over the pizza. In that case, I think I’d toss the greens with just some lemon juice or champagne vinegar, a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Let me know if you give it a shot!
Red Grape and Ricotta Pizza with Honey & Arugula
1/2 pound whole wheat pizza dough*
a big handful of red grapes
a small handful of chopped walnuts
a palmful of chopped fresh rosemary
balsamic vinegar (if you have something fun like a citrus or fig-infused vinegar, even better!)
Preheat grill to medium high heat and spray with nonstick spray.
Mix some ricotta cheese with honey, salt and pepper to taste. Wash your grapes, chop your walnuts and rosemary, and toss your arugula with the vinegar – basically, have everything ready to go!
Roll out the pizza dough as thin as you can, and carefully transfer to the grill. Cover and cook for a couple minutes, until crisped on the bottom. Use a large spatula to lift the dough and flip it over. Cover the pizza with the ricotta, then scatter the grapes, walnuts and rosemary over it. Close the grill and cook for several more minutes, until bottom is crisp and toppings are warmed. Transfer to a platter or cutting board, and top with the arugula.
Slice, serve, and savor your creation.
*I used store-bought dough. No shame there! I prefer to split it and just use half at a time, freezing the other half, otherwise I end up eating too much pizza at once. A 1/2 pound of dough makes the perfect sized pizza for two!
Why are there no measurements or nutritional information? Because it was the weekend. I wasn’t counting. Have fun with this!