What’s better than a pizza? Hot or cold; breakfast, lunch, or dinner; vegetarian or meat-loaded; white sauce, red sauce, or no sauce. You name it. I’ll take it. This Beet, Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Arugula Pizza is as good as any. In fact, it’s the perfect za designed by and for moi!
Which leads to a good question–if you could design your perfect pizza, what would it have on it?
My designer Beet, Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Arugula Pizza is sans sauce but there’s a lovely base of high-quality olive oil to give it richness and to help the dough crisp. I can’t stress using decent olive oil enough. In my opinion, the difference between a sub-par, cheap olive oil and a high-quality olive oil is the difference between night and day. Yes, it costs more, but, if it’s good –really good—it elevates whatever it is you’re cooking from good to better. It doesn’t taste sour or sharp rather it tastes smooth and a touch fruity. My favorite varieties have a banana essence.
After loading this pizza up with all the toppings and baking it until the crust crisps and the flavors marry, I top it off with a drizzle of honey. Weird? Maybe. However, I got the idea from a pizza restaurant in Denver (whose name escapes me–if you know, give me a shout) where there’s honey on the table to drizzle over your pizza. It’s indulgent. But not as indulgent as ranch dressing. There’s a time and a place for that sorcery, too.
I use my favorite store-bought dough because I haven’t had time to make my own lately. If you’re feeling adventurous and would like to make your own dough, check out the video below. Don’t worry all you blue-cheese haters. There’s fontina on here, too. Simply double the amount of shredded fontina if omitting the blue cheese.
The Cast: Beet, Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Arugula Pizza
Sweet, earthy roasted beets
Smoky, salty bacon
Bitter, oven-crispy arugula
Funky, pungent blue cheese
Sharp, flavorful red onion
Creamy, silky fontina
Crunchy sunflower seeds
Sweet, balanced drizzle of honey
- 1 ball of pizza dough
- 1-2 Tbsp of high-quality extra virgin olive oil
- 2 handfuls of arugula
- 2 medium (or 1 large) beet(s), roasted and thinly sliced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fontina, shredded
- ¼-1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 4 slices of bacon, partially cooked and chopped
- ½ Tbsp. rosemary, chopped
- Honey for drizzling
- Cornmeal, to prevent dough from sticking
- Prior to pizza prep, roast your beets and fry your bacon. Roasted beets take about an hour (drizzled with oil and wrapped in foil) in a 375 degree oven. The bacon will take about 10-15 minutes to partially cook in a 375 degree oven. It will finish cooking as the pizza cooks.
- Prep a pizza stone by placing in the oven while you prepare the pizza and the oven preheats to 400 degrees.
- Roll out your pizza dough on a well-floured surface or shape into a thin flat circle with your hands, rotating as you go. If you stretch the dough too much and holes form in the crust, pinch of bit of dough from the thicker outer edge and patch the hole.
- Place stretched dough on a piece of parchment-lined baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
- Next, brush olive oil on the crust.
- Evenly distribute the arugula, sliced beets, and red onion, in that order.
- Sprinkle with fontina, crumbled blue cheese, bacon, rosemary and sunflower seeds, in that order. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt.
- Transfer pizza to the heated pizza stone. You can place the parchment directly on the stone, or if you're feeling adventurous and your cornmeal to crust ratio is just right, the pizza should slide right off of the parchment lined pan onto the stone.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. The pizza is done when the outer crust is hard, the cheese is bubbly, and onions and bacon are browned.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 8 slices.
- Drizzle with honey. Enjoy!