FOFF French Quarter Inspired Arugula Pizza

by Joanne on December 1, 2011

I’m trying to get back into this exercise thing but it’s tough.  Maybe it’s the stuffy nose, lingering headache and general feeling BLAH that’s snuffing out my motivation.  So far this week I’ve done two total body weight workout sessions, two 30 minute elliptical sessions with 18 to 20 minutes on the bike after each session.  I’ve run 6.23 miles and my breathing was labored.  It’s not usual for me to have colds lasting longer than 2 or 3 days.  In hopes of shaking it off, I slept in and will take a break from exercise.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring a clearer head. 

In the meantime,…

The French Quarter has me thinking of Louisiana, Mardi Gras and creole flavors.  Maybe it’s simply the combination of French, Mediterranean, Caribbean, African and American flavors that inspired this recipe by Carla Vavala in her book “Fusion of Food and Friends”.  Whatever the inspiration, this is a pizza that has you enjoying fresh flavors much like eating a salad on pizza crust. It works for me.


French Quarter Inspired Arugula Pizza


  • 1 lb pizza dough (whole wheat is healthier)
  • 1 small head of garlic (roasting instructions below)
  • 1 jar (6 oz) Sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/2 bag fresh arugula
  • 1/4 bag fresh baby spinach
  • *If you can’t find a bag of fresh arugula, substitute with a salad mix that contains arugula such as “Spring Mix”.
  • 3 – 4 large leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • *I added 8 oz drained chick peas
  • 1 small ball of mozzarella, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste (you don’t need this)
  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425F. 

Roast garlic:  Using your microwave.  Peel the papery outside from the garlic.  Cut off 1/4 of the top of the garlic.  Brush with 1 tsp olive oil over exposed garlic. Put the top back on and place on a paper towel.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Turn garlic over and microwave for one more minute. Allow to cool then cut into pieces.

Spread the pizza dough out to desired thinness. Brush with the oil from the sun dried tomatoes (about 1 1/2 TBS).  Bake in oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the dough from oven and top with the arugula, spinach, sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil, and chick peas (if using).  Top with the cheese, sprinkle with salt and pepper if you want but definitely drizzle with the balsamic vinegar (not too much!). 

Bake for 10 minutes or until mozzarella is bubbly and begins to brown.


Make sure you get every last cheesy bite.


I’m really impressed with the recipes so far in Carla’s book.  Everyone of them has been easy and delicious.

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  • At 2011.12.01 07:20, Heather said:

    Weird, I have the worst cold this week, too. And I never get sick! I thought it would be gone by now but sadly it’s still here (and not getting better yet).
    That pizza looks amazing – but what pizza doesn’t with all that melty cheese, right?? 🙂

    • At 2011.12.01 08:23, Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D said:

      Looks delicious. And, I like greens, so this is to be tried. Thanks for sharing!

      • At 2011.12.01 10:22, Ali @ Peaches and Football said:

        I need to keep some cans of chickpeas in my cupboards. It seems like there are always really good recipes using them! Mmm pizza!

        • At 2013.04.24 03:30, Osip said:

          I am a lengthy time back I study your blog and has extended been stating that you’re a great writer

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