This ultra cheesy naan pizza topped with sausage, mushrooms, and arugula is a quick, flavorful weeknight meal.
I’m convinced there’s something healing about gardening. I’ll admit, you probably won’t find me waxing poetic about the healing properties of gardening come July when I’m pulling weeds in 90 degree weather. But in the spring time, nothing raises my spirits quite like seeing the first pop of green wiggle its way up out of the dirt into the sunlight. It’s a sign of new life, changing seasons, hope. Not to mention good food in the very near future.
I don’t have a huge garden every year. Sometimes a particularly busy summer season means I have to cut back, but a few staples always remain: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and an herb garden. Even with just these staples, I know a summer full of fresh salads, pizzas, and sandwiches will be mine for the eating.
This year will be the first year I’ve added arugula to the mix. Why I’ve waited this long is beyond me. I love adding this peppery vegetable to frittatas, broiled fruit, and even waffle sandwiches. Not only that, it’s one of the easiest and most satisfying things to grow. This year, I’m doing mine in containers to help keep things manageable and cut down on the aforementioned oppressively-humid weed picking. A simple potting soil mix, a line in the dirt, and a $1.50 packet of seeds is all that’s needed to grow this punchy green. Within a week of planting, it’ll be bursting to the surface, making even the most amateur gardener’s thumb feel positively green.
Pizza is one of my favorite ways to use up fresh garden produce. Whether it’s a simple Caprese Pizza or a classic green pepper, onion, and mushroom pizza, there’s no vegetable that can’t find a home in the embrace of a bubbling, cheesy crust.
Still some pizzas stand out as something a little above and beyond the ordinary. Such was the case with this 3 Cheese Naan Pizza. It’s modeled after a pizza called the Lady L, which is served on a brick fired crust at one of my favorite local places, Bono Pizza. The original Lady L is a white pizza with pesto sauce topped with either arugula or green onions. Of course, I always ask for both, and being the nice people they are, they always oblige. Because why have only one green topping when you can have two?
To transform the Lady L into an easy weeknight meal, I simply swapped out the homemade crust for chewy naan bread, which cuts your prep time in half. The pizza is topped with pesto then three cheeses–mozzarella, gouda, and Parmesan–for the ultimate in meltiness and flavor. Sweet Italian sausage and mushrooms are added to the top before the whole mixture is baked until browned and bubbly.
Just before serving I sprinkled on the fresh arugula and green onions–the final layer of fresh, crisp flavor to complete this pizza.
I have to say, this may be my new favorite pizza, and I don’t take that statement lightly. The peppery arugula, bright green onion, and savory umami cheese make this combination irresistible. Plus, you simply can’t trade the feeling of dressing a pizza with ingredients you’ve grown yourself!
If you’ve ever dreamed of growing a garden yourself, now is the time to give it a try! Greens grow quickly and are super easy to plant, whether in the ground or in containers. Herbs are also a great option for beginning gardens. I grow all of my herbs in small containers and absolutely love being able to pluck a few each night to add pizzazz to our dinners. Plus, then you can make your own basil pesto for this pizza. FYI: It’s a thousand times better than the store bought kind! For more inspiring tips on creating your own edible garden, check out American Family Insurance’s Recipes from the Garden Pinterest Board.
American Family Insurance is encouraging people to pursue their dreams through their #ChooseDreams campaign. Whether it’s starting a garden, running a marathon, learning to sew, or traveling overseas, why not take the first step today? To find out more about the campaign and connect with American Family Insurance, you can find them on their website, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube!
- ¼ pound bulk Italian sausage
- 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 2 Garlic Naan Breads
- 2 heaping Tablespoons pesto (storebought or homemade
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 heaping cup shredded gouda cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup arugula
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees.
- Add the sausage to a skillet and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. About halfway through, add the mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are browned and sausage is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place the naan breads on a piece of parchment paper on top of a flat cutting board or cookie sheet (this makes the transfer to the pizza stone much easier!). Spread a heaping Tablespoon of pesto over each piece. Divide the mozzarella and gouda cheese evenly between them. Spread the sausage and mushrooms over the pizzas then finish with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
- Slide the parchment paper onto the hot pizza stone. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and just starting to brown around the edges.
- Top the pizzas with the arugula leaves and chopped green onions. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Neighborfood
This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.
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