Grilled Corn Ricotta Naan Pizza with Arugula Salad
Grilled Corn Ricotta Naan Pizza with Arugula Salad combines so many of my favorite things, I could just burst. First of all, Naan pizza is practically a perfect meal for one. While I love sharing meals with friends and family, there is nothing like sitting down with your own hand-built pizza and not having to talk to anybody. If you haven’t made a naan pizza yet, I suggest you stop what you’re doing right now and go get yourself some Naan. (Pronounced like “Non”) If you are not familiar with Naan, it’s a leavened, oven-baked flatbread, made of wheat flour, water, yeast, butter or ghee, yogurt and milk, found in the cuisines of Central and South Asia. Lucky for us, it’s also now found in most grocery stores in the bakery or deli section. I buy Stone-fire Original Tandoori Naan at my local grocery, or if I’m stocking up and being savvy, I get Daily Chef Naan from Sam’s Wholesale Club in packs of 12 for a fraction of the grocery cost. They freeze perfectly and thaw in minutes.
Naan is suited perfectly for my kind of pizza making. I adore handmade, wood-fired pizza but am not interested in kneading and shaping pizza crust. It’s just too time consuming and messy for my level of commitment. Like I said before, pizza is my favorite meal for one, and you may have thought I was just being selfish but I’m going to confess an astonishing secret: I’ve managed to stay married for 24 years to a man who doesn’t like pizza or consider it to be a meal. It’s best not to try to figure it out. No one said marriage would be easy. But, now you can imagine how desperately happy I was to discover how easy it is to whip up a perfect pizza in minutes, any time I’m dining alone.
It’s likely that you have the rest of the ingredients to make a naan pizza because you can use ALMOST ANYTHING. It’s nearly impossible to do it wrong. Another reason that I love this meal: the rules are few, yet the possibilities endless. The pizza I whipped up today is topped with “homemade” ricotta, that I purchase from a local Italian market. I have made actual homemade ricotta before, but once I discovered that they make it fresh, weekly, at the market, I was happy to retire the cheesecloth. I had some leftover grilled corn because I always grill too much corn in the summer, often on purpose so I can cut it off the cob and use in salsa or salad, or freeze for later. Little tomatoes are a nice acidic addition, as are scallions. I had a little bit of shredded three-cheese (Italian) blend in the fridge and sprinkled it on top to hold it all together. The pizza baked for about 8 minutes at 425 degrees and then I topped it with arugula, tossed with lemon and olive oil, shaved Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes.
The first time I had arugula salad on top of pizza I had mixed emotions. One was: true love at first bite. The other was: irritation, because where have you been all my life?? It’s like taking the world’s best “junk food” and cloaking it in a cruciferous, super-veggie dream coat. Not to mention the most excellent textural and flavor compliment. It might look like a mess to eat, but believe me it’s worth it. Use a knife and fork, or see above suggestion: eat alone.
Pictured below is what you will need for this particular pizza, but like I said, the options are limitless. You could add meat to this pizza, if you like that kind of thing. Bacon or prosciutto would be amazing with this combination. Just sayin’. And, if the members of your family are hanging around and happen to like pizza, like most normal people do, this can be multiplied or opened up to a “make-your-own-pizza” situation. Have fun with it!
- 1 loaf Naan
- 1/4-1/2 cup fresh, full-fat, ricotta cheese, whipped or stirred until soft and speadable
- 1 ear of grilled corn, cut off the cob
- 1 scallion, white and light green parts, sliced
- 4-6 little tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 tsp. fresh oregano leaves, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup shredded italian cheese blend, or mozzarella
- 1-2 cups arugula leaves
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Parmesan cheese, to taste
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place Naan on baking sheet, spread with ricotta. Top with corn, scallions, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper and shredded cheese.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is starting to brown.
- Toss arugula with lemon, oil, and Parmesan. Place on top of hot pizza.
- Season with red pepper flakes and additional olive oil, if desired. Enjoy!
- To grill corn: I usually peel the corn first and grill directly on hot grill, turning every few minutes for 10-15 minutes. Recently I've also grilled it with the husk for 15 minutes, letting sit for 10 minutes and then peeling. You return the peeled and cooked corn to the hot grill to char the outside for a couple minutes, if desired.