The many styles of pizza can fall almost anywhere on the health spectrum. Depending on the style, a slice can be indulgently rich and greasy or incredibly fresh and wholesome. In this episode of To Eat With Love, our Mediterranean diet cooking show will demonstrate a healthy Artichoke Arugula Pizza recipe inspired by Northern Italy that falls on the (much) healthier side of this spectrum.
What makes this pizza lighter and more nutritious than the typical American slice? Like many Mediterranean diet recipes, this healthy pizza uses fresh veggies, has healthy fats, and gets bold flavor from herbs and vegetables instead of loads of mozzarella cheese.
To make this Artichoke Arugula Pizza with Prosciutto recipe, nutritionist Fiorella DiCarlo, RD, CDN, spreads whole-wheat pizza dough on a sheet pan. Like traditional Italian pizza, this healthy pizza crust is thin, which results in great crunch and a lighter slice. (You can make it even lighter or gluten free with this unique cauliflower crust!) For a unique burst of flavor, Fiorella adds pesto sauce instead of the typical marinara. Pesto has bold, bright, basil flavor and healthy fats from pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil.
For a bit of richness while limiting unhealthy fats, this healthy pizza uses a modest sprinkle of part-skim mozzarella cheese. You only need a little—in fact, you can even skip the cheese completely and enjoy your healthy pizza cheeseless. Once the pizza comes out of the oven, you have two toppings to add: artichokes (a classic Mediterranean diet ingredient that will load the pizza with fiber) and a bit of Parmesan Reggiano. This is a flavorful cheese, so just a little goes a long way.
For this Mediterranean pizza, you’ll add the fresh arugula and prosciutto last because these two toppings are best raw. Healthy tip: Fiorella tosses her arugula with fresh lemon juice before adding to the pizza to increase the absorption of iron in the arugula. For a vegetarian or lower-cholesterol pizza, you could swap the prosciutto with other veggies like sliced eggplant or mushrooms.
- Cooking spray
- 1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) low sodium mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons shredded low sodium Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups arugula leaves
- 1/4 cup of cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons commercial pesto
- 1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained [1 1/2 cup]
- 1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice