pesto & applewood bacon pizza with arugula-apple salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces pecan halves, broken
  • ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  •  Pizza dough, purchased or homemade (Trader Joe’s whole wheat dough)
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn in small piieces
  • 8 ounces applewood bacon, cut each slice in quarters and cook until golden brown but not super crispy, drain well on paper towels
  • ½ medium crisp, red skinned apple, cored and thinly slice, each slice halved
  • 2 ounces baby arugula or spinach
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of for oven and preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine the 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt with pecans in a small pan. Toast until deep golden and aromatic, about 7-8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Increase oven temperature to 475˚F.

Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper, about the size of your pizza stone, lightly with cornmeal and place it on a pizza paddle or a large cutting board. Set aside. On a floured work surface, flatten the dough with your hands. Start at the center and work outwards, using your fingers to press and stretch the dough to a 10-12 inch circle.

Fold dough in half, then in quarters and transfer to prepared parchment paper. Unfold dough and reshape as needed. Spread dough evenly with pesto and sprinkle mozzarella on top. Carefully open oven and slide parchment paper and dough onto the preheated stone. Bake for 5- 7 minutes or until golden brown. Check after 5 minutes and turn pizza if one side is getting too brown.

While pizza is baking, make the arugula salad. Place arugula in a medium size bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add a pinch of sea salt and a couple grinds of pepper. Toss with two forks to coat leaves with oil and vinegar.

Remove pizza from oven. Evenly distribute bacon, then arugula, apples and pecans.

Source: The Café Sucré Farine

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