Springtime Pizzas

These light pizzas, with their cracker-thin crusts and fresh vegetable toppings, usher in the flavors of spring. Vary the toppings according to what you find in the market, and be a little adventurous with your choice of cheese; you can get by using less when it has an assertive flavor.


3/4 cup warm water (110°F. to 115°F.)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 to 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons cornmeal


4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 small plum tomatoes, sliced (1/4 inch)
2/3 cup thinly sliced multi-colored miniature bell peppers
1/3 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded sharp provolone cheese
2 cups arugula or baby spinach

1. Pour water into large bowl; sprinkle with yeast. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until yeast is dissolved. Add 1 cup of the flour, 2 teaspoons oil and salt. Slowly stir in enough of the remaining flour to form soft dough.

2. Knead dough on lightly floured surface 6 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap and clean towel. Let rise in warm place 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3. Meanwhile, place baking stone on bottom oven rack; heat oven to 475°F. for at least 45 minutes.

4. Gently punch down dough to deflate; place on lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 pieces; roll each piece into 7-inch round. Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza peel or baking sheet; place dough on peel.

5. Combine 2 teaspoons of the oil and garlic; spread over dough rounds. Top each with sliced tomatoes in single layer, bell peppers, onion and basil; sprinkle with cheese. Slide pizzas, in batches if necessary, onto baking stone.

6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown on bottom and edges. Cut each round into 6 wedges; slide onto plates. Pile arugula in center of pizzas; drizzle arugula with remaining 2 teaspoons oil.

4 pizzas

PER PIZZA: 375 calories, 11.5 g total fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 12 g protein, 55.5 g carbohydrate, 10 mg cholesterol, 585 mg sodium, 3.5 g fiber