Easy & Green: Arugula Pita Pizzas

I used to resist making mini-pizzas on pita because the healthful aspects seem to sort of defeat the purpose of pizza.  I had to give in, finally, when I tried an amazing arugula pizza at Portland institution Ken's Artisan Pizza. Something about peppery, strong arugula with bread and tomato is ridiculously delicious. I wanted to experience that taste basically every day, and I can't afford--financially or physically--to eat "real" pizza every night, so I set about finding a substitute.  Enter the pita pizza.  This won't give you the gooey satisfaction of biting into heavy, cheesy pizza, but it will satisfy a craving for a simple, light, easy Italian meal.

This easy dinner comes together in less than 10 minutes, and is a great way to get your greens in at the end of the day.


Arugula Pita Pizza

Serves: 2 with a side veggie, or 1 hungry woman

Calories: about 100 per pizza (half a pita each)



2 whole wheat pita rounds

1 cup homemade or store-bought tomato sauce (pasta sauce works fine--no need to get pizza sauce specifically), punched up with red pepper flakes

1-2 cups arugula (baby or not)

salt, shaved or shredded parmesan, chopped olives, onion as desired

1. Preheat oven to 400 with the rack in the middle position.

2. Split the pita rounds into two halves by opening the pocket.  Do this carefully so you end up with two thin rounds.

3. Spread each half with sauce.  Make sure you spread the side that used to be on the inside of the pita, as the outside smoother part will sit directly on the oven rack.  Spread a bit more sauce than you think you'll need, as some will get absorbed during cooking.

4. Place the pitas with sauce in the oven, directly on the rack.  You can easily fit all 4 halves at once, and I think I've squeezed at least 6 at one time.  Let them bake until beginning to crisp, or until they get as crisp as you like--5 minutes or more.

5. Top with arugula, and sprinkle with extras as desired.  I just add a touch of salt, and that's really all you need, but you can add parmesan, olives, thinly sliced red onion.  If you really want to get fancy, you can toss the arugula in just a little lemon juice, olive oil, and salt before you top the pizzas, but it's really almost as good without this step.