Monday, April 18, 2011

Salad Pizza

During the first few years of our marriage, Hey, Babe worked as a manager for a fast food pizzeria.  Considering that it was the same place he had worked for all through high school and had returned to it for a few years after college while we were waiting for me to graduate and get married, it is no wonder that he had long since tired of their food.   I found this rather frustrating since it would have been quite convenient if he had been able to bring dinner home on the nights I didn't feel like cooking.  Especially considering Pizza is one of the foods I love and can eat over and over again in nearly any configuration.

One of the only ways Hey, Babe was willing to accommodate me was to on rare occasions bring home a not-from-the-menu salad pizza.  He and his brother had worked at the pizzeria together through high school, and upon tiring of all the heavy, greasy, salty pizzas readily available, they began instead to create various versions of this salad pizza when hunger struck them.  The salad bar and various pizza toppings available made it quite easy both to assemble and to switch up the ingredients by making it spicy, or with chicken, or bacon, etc.  It wasn't always the same exact ingredients, but it was always good.

I know this is another pizza recipe and I have posted several already, but since pizza is so awesome can you really blame me?  It really is one of my favorite things and because you can change up the toppings so drastically you never have to eat it the same way twice.  Coming up soon...Pepperoni Personal Pan Pizzas.

Salad Pizza
1 lb or so of your favorite pizza dough (I've even used this No Knead Dough)
4 oz. Cheddar Cheese
4 oz. Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 - 1/2 cup Creamy Dressing (we use Ranch, but Italian or Caesar could work too)
1 Red Onion, diced
4 cups Romain Lettuce, thinly sliced (you could also do spinach, iceberg lettuce, etc.)
2 small Tomatoes, chopped
2 Carrots, thinly sliced or grated
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Cucumber, chopped

Optional Ingredients
Cooked Chicken
Bacon, Chopped
Hot Peppers
Sausage, Chopped

Preheat oven (and pizza stone if you have one) to 450ºF.

On a piece of parchment paper, roll out your pizza dough into a circle of your desired thickness.  Sprinkle cheddar over the dough followed by mozzarella both to within an inch or so of the edge.  The mozzarella is less likely to burn and should go on top of the cheddar.  Place on preheated pizza stone and bake 12-14 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the cheeses are melty and starting to turn golden.

There are now two ways you can assemble this.  The first is to mix all the remaining ingredients, including dressing and your selection of optional ingredients into a bowl, toss them together and then spread them evenly on the pizza.  This works fine but then you get a big bowl dirty and you chance there being an uneven distribution of ingredients.  Instead, I usually spread some of the dressing on the top of the cooked pizza and then start layering the ingredients on, scattering them evenly over the top sometimes finishing with a little more derssing.  It's your choice.  Either way, slice with a pizza cutter and serve it warm.

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