Amazing White Pizza
April 24, 2018 by Nicole Collins
Would you guys still like me if I told you I don’t love pizza?
Before you unsubscribe…I like pizza. I just don’t love it.
I feel like pizza is one of those foods that everyone craves at all times. I just don’t fall in to that category. I’d rather faceplant in a plate of tacos, for real.
But, when I crave pizza, I crave pizza. Like, “can’t stop thinking about it until I get some” crave it.
Truth be told, I think it’s the tomato sauce that turns me off. I’m really picky about tomato sauces, and it’s just not my favorite thing out there. But, give me a white pizza loaded up with cheese, and I’m TOTALLY there!
I go to this “build your own pizza” quick serve restaurant every now and then; and every time I go, I ask for no sauce but all of the cheeses. (There are at least 5 kinds of cheeses to choose from). And every time, the person behind the counter looks at me like I’m nutso. But, I smile confidently, tell them I meant what I said, and proceed to the next station of toppings.
That’s my kind of pizza!
And today, we’re making just that. A no sauce, 3 cheese, heavenly pizza. Today, it’s Amazing White Pizzas!
This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from one of my heros, Ina Garten. If anyone ever asked me what I want to be when I grow up, my answer would be Ina. I just want to be Ina. With her gorgeous house in the Hamptons, and her countless trips to Paris, and her poshy friends, and her “really good” ingredients; who wouldn’t want to be Ina?!?
Ina’s version of this pizza starts with a homemade pizza dough; gets brushed with a garlic/thyme oil; topped with fontina, mozzarella, and goat cheese; and finished with a lemony arugula salad. And don’t get me wrong, Ina’s version is more than incredible.
But, for our pizza today, we’re ditching the homemade dough for store bought naan, keeping Ina’s garlic oil, switching out the cheese selections, and topping our pizzas with fresh microgreens.
Let me take you through my decision to change my idol’s original plan.
1. Switching from homemade pizza dough to naan: I’m kind of afraid of pizza dough, if I’m going to be honest. I don’t do well blooming yeast. I don’t know why! I have about a 50% success rate with yeast. So, since we can’t win them all, I chose to use a pizza base that I couldn’t kill. I used to make these pizzas on pita bread (which is totally still an option), but I prefer naan bread pizzas 10 times over.
2. The changing of the cheeses: When I first started making this pizza many many years ago, I didn’t know the difference between certain cheeses like I know now. And, the cheese selection at my local grocery store didn’t use to be what it is now. So over the years as I’d top this with whatever cheese I could find (or afford) that day, fontina turned in to smoked gouda and goat cheese turned in to feta. And now, that’s how I prefer it! The smokiness of the smoked gouda adds such a special flavor that pairs perfectly with the salty feta and the fluffy pizza crust.
3. Lemon dressed arugula salad to fresh microgreens as a topping: First off, arugula is not my favorite. I’ll eat it with no problem, but it’s not my number one. So, I swapped it with a fresh green that I truly love. Second, I don’t totally care for lemon in a savory setting. Lemon needs to stick to dessert as far as I’m concerned. Finally and truthfully, I don’t even need the greens on the pizza. But, that’s how Ina does it, so that’s how I’m doing it.
Despite these changes, the garlic/thyme oil that we brush on the naan bread before adding the toppings is ALL Ina. I stuck with her original plan for the oil. This stuff isn’t just awesome brushed on our pizza though. It’s great to serve as a dipping oil for some fresh baguette, too!
When pizza looks like this, I will never say “no”. Like, never ever. Thank you Ina for giving me a way to start transitioning from like to love when it comes to pizza!
As far as you guys are concerned, I’ve got no doubts that you’re going to LOVE this pizza. So enjoy, and let’s eat!
Amazing White Pizza
Serves: 4 Print
1 pack original naan bread (2 flatbreads)
1 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 sprigs thyme
1/8 tsp red chili flakes
½ cup microgreens
salt and pepper, to taste
Make the garlic oil: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine olive oil, garlic, thyme, and red chili flakes. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 10 mins. Remove from heat, and remove sliced garlic and thyme from oil.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the bubbly side of the naan bread with water. Flip, and brush the flat side with about 1 tbsp garlic oil per flatbread. Season each bread on the olive oil side with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Mix mozzarella and smoked gouda together in a small bowl or plate. Divide evenly between two flatbreads (on the flat side) leaving about a ¼ inch border. Top each flatbread with crumbled feta. Drizzle about 1 tbsp per flatbread of the garlic oil on top of the cheeses. Bake for 10-12 minutes on a sheet pan until the cheese melts, and the crust begins to turn golden brown.
After removing from the oven, immediately top naan breads evenly with microgreens. Allow to sit for 2-3 mins before slicing to allow everything to melt together. Cut and serve.
*Allowing the toppings to sit before cutting helps them melt together and stay on.
*This recipe would work just as well with regular pizza dough. I just really love naan bread pizzas.
*I like to line a sheet tray with foil for easy clean up for these pizzas.
*Make sure you get smoked gouda and not regular gouda. The taste is totally different!
*Since I don't use the whole block of smoked gouda for this recipe, I like to wrap the leftover cheese back in its wrapper, place it in a sandwich bag, and store it in the freezer. When I want to use it again, I just remove it from the freezer the day before I need it. That way, I don't feel bad about splurging on specialty cheese, because it doesn't get wasted. And, the texture stays the same even after being frozen!
*Sometimes, I make this with fresh baby spinach that's been shredded instead of microgreens. But, I really love the microgreens. You can use your favorite mix of them! Sometimes, I leave the greens off completely. Totally yummy either way!
*This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's White Pizza recipe.