Green Goddess Skillet Pizza

This is the perfect food for a particularly rough Monday.

And while I guess all Monday’s are horrible in their own unique way, I think you get the gist. Because sometimes after a weekend of endless, offensive, in-your-face indulging — aka: story of my life — it’s hard to return to healthy eating. So consider this pizza a step in the right direction. A step that’s smothered in cheese, baked in a skillet, and very, totally GREEN.

Green = health, always.

The point of this pizza is basically to have your cake and eat it too. Normally I find this phrase infuriating  — WHO buys a cake and doesn’t eat it? — but I suppose the principal makes sense. You can’t have everything in this life, and if you could tacos would cause thigh gaps and tequila would be free. So compromises are essential to living a healthy, functional existence, and this pizza is pretty much that. There’s dough and cheese (naughty) + green goddess dressing and arugula (NICE!), so it’s a delicious middle ground. It’s also super easy to make, tastes suspiciously fresh for February, and has lots and lots of GREEN.

Did I mention that yet?

You start by prepping homemade pizza dough, which I’ve previously made here and here. As written this dough recipe yields two pizza crusts, so keep in mind that you’ll be freezing one half and working with the other. Once the dough is prepped you’ll make the green goddess dressing, which hails from this summertime pasta recipe. The freshness this time around was a bit weaker than the first — it was August and my herb garden was KILLING IT — but it’s still crazy herbacious and crisp.

Pre-heat a cast iron skillet in the oven, then VERY carefully mold the pizza dough to the bottom and up the sides. Smear the crust with most of the green goddess dressing, then use the rest to coat the arugula. Build your pizza with layers of cheese — cheddar + mozz! — dressed arugula, fresh tomatoes, and more cheese, then fold down the edges of the dough to create a crust. Brush the crust with olive oil, do a little dance, and bake!

In 20 minutes hot bubbling pizza is coming your way.

What I like about making pizza in a skillet is that it’s a controlled environment. When I’m using a pizza stone my pizza tends to be a misshapen, sloppy mess. But with the skillet I know I’m going to achieve a gorgeous circular creation, so I like having that guaranteed. I also like that there’s barely any clean-up — cast iron is LIFE! — you can easily incorporate a touch of protein if you wish, anddd there’s a ton of green!

I think I mentioned that. xo

Green Goddess Skillet Pizza

Ingredients:

  • DOUGH: (makes two crusts!)
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 packet instant yeast (should be 2 tsps worth)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted + more for rolling
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • SAUCE: 
  • 1 cup basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 small avocado
  • 1/4 cup oregano
  • 2 tbsps rosemary
  • 4 – 5 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1 tbsp pignoli nuts
  • 1 tsp crushed or minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced (should yield 2 tbsps worth)
  • a pinch of salt & pepper
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • TOPPINGS:
  • 5 oz arugula lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 10 oz grape tomatoes, halved

Directions:

  1. Begin by preparing the dough. In a small saucepan warm the milk over a low flame, then add in the butter to melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted, transfer to large mixing bowl and add the sugar and salt. Let this mixture cool slightly, then add in the eggs and whisk until smooth. Lastly incorporate the yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, and flour, stirring until the dough takes shape. Knead the dough inside the mixing bowl for several minutes, then cover bowl with saran wrap and allow dough to rise until approximately double in size, about 30 minutes. The dough is ready when you can press your finger into it and the indentation remains.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or high-powered blender combine all sauce ingredients, pureeing until smooth and scraping the sides as needed. Start with 4 tbsps of EVOO, then add the fifth one if desired.
  3. Toss the arugula in a few tablespoons of the green goddess sauce until generously coated. Set aside the remaining sauce.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 500F. Place a cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet in the oven while heating.
  5. Once the dough has risen, turn the dough ball onto a heavily floured work surface. Use a pizza cutter to cut in half, then tightly wrap one piece in saran wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Begin working with the remaining half.
  6. Using a rolling-pin roll out the dough into an even circle, just larger than the size of the skillet you’re using. Remove the heated skillet from the oven and swirl with 1 tbsp of olive oil to coat the bottom and the edges. VERY carefully, transfer the dough to the hot and greased skillet and snugly form to the pan, stretching the dough up along the sides so it almost hangs over. Amply coat the top of the dough with the green goddess sauce, then layer with the cheeses, arugula, and tomatoes. When finished, roll down the edges of the dough to create a crust, then brush this crust with the remaining tbsp of olive oil.
  7. Cook pizza on oven middle rack for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the crust is browned. Cool slightly, then immediately plate and serve, pairing with any remaining green goddess sauce for dipping.
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