Thin-crust garlic and arugula pizza with balsamic reduction. This Tuscan-style flatbread pizza with fresh rosemary and smoked cheese with a drizzle of balsamic reduction takes you right to Italy. Into the oven in only 15 minutes makes it a perfect vegetarian weeknight meal.
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 1 16 to 20 ounce ball pizza dough, preferably whole-grain or multi-grain
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 6 ounces shredded smoked cheese (see note*)
- 1 ½ cup fresh baby arugula
- Arrange oven rack in the bottom most position of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer and reduce until the vinegar is thick and syrupy, about 13 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, brush 2 teaspoons oil over a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll pizza dough out on a lightly floured surface to the size of the pan and lay dough over the cornmeal.
- Mash garlic and salt into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife on the cutting board. Scrape the garlic paste into a small dish and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Brush the garlic oil over the pizza. Sprinkle with rosemary. Top with cheese.
- Transfer the pizza to the bottom rack of the oven and bake until the bottom is crisp and brown and the cheese on top is melted and bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes. Scatter the arugula on top and drizzle the balsamic reduction over it. Cut into 10 pieces and serve immediately.
Ingredient note: Use any type of smoked cheese that you like. Harder and longer-aged cheeses like smoked cheddar, gruyere and gouda are generally saltier and higher in fat so you will only need 6 ounces for this recipe. If you would like to use a ball of fresh smoked mozzarella, use 8 ounces and add a generous pinch of extra kosher salt. If you are not sure, compare nutritional labels, if it has 100 to 110 calories per ounce, use 6-ounces. If it has 70-80 calories per 1-ounce serving, use 8 ounces.