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Pizz’alad: Why Pizza with a Salad on Top Will Change Everything You Ever Loved About Pizza

By Hilary Meyer, August 15, 2013 - 10:38am

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My husband, Russ, is a pizza fanatic. A salad glistening with a thin coat of dressing is more up my alley. So to keep us happy, I started making both. Not just pizza with a side of salad, but a pizza that was a salad. A pizz’alad, if you will. A pizza that took the goodness of pizza—a thin crackly crust, the mmmm-inducing pungency of melted cheese—and combined it with the snap of lettuce and the virtues of farm-fresh vegetables. I know it sounds a little weird, but it has been a HUGE hit among my friends and family. It makes for a memorable meal where both pizza lovers and salad lovers can be happy. Top your pizza with salad and serve with icy beer, wine and no-fuss appetizers like olives and you’ve got a recipe for a relaxed get-together.

Related: 6 New Pizz’alad Recipes

Want to take a stab at making your own pizz’alad? Here’s what you need to know.

1) Have All Your Ingredients Ready
This is classic cooking advice, stemming from the concept of mise en place, a fancy French way of saying “get organized before you start cooking.” This is especially important when making pizz’alad, because once the dough is in the oven or on the grill, you’ll need to move fast. Prep all your veggies and toppings and have them ready to go near your oven or grill. That way, you won’t be chopping furiously while your crust is baking. When you rush, accidents are most likely to happen.

2) Double Your Dough or Make It Ahead
If you are making pizz’alad for a party or even just want to get a jump on things, consider making your dough ahead or doubling the recipe. The Whole-Grain Pizza Dough (get the recipe here) is seriously forgiving. You can make it the day before and store it in your fridge. You can make it a week ahead (or longer) and freeze it. (Just let it defrost in your fridge overnight.) You can drop it off the roof of a 20-story building and still it will bake up perfectly for you. You can knead it by hand or make it in a food processor fitted with a dough blade. (I like this way the most.) And while you’re at it, double the recipe (even a doubled recipe will work in the food processor). Even if you don’t use both balls of dough, you’ll have one on hand for next time.

3) Toss the Salad Greens Just Before Serving
This is sort of Salad 101, but it’s especially important with pizz’alad. Dressing wilts greens fast. And when you’re tossing greens for pizz’alad, you need to pile on the dressing since it’s the dressing that soaks into the crust and keeps the pizz’alad from becoming dry. Once your crust is out of the oven, that’s a good time to toss your salad.

4) Let the Crust Cool a Bit Before Topping
Since you’ll be adding fresh greens to the top of your pizza, you should let the crust cool for about 5 minutes before adding your greens. That way the greens won’t wilt immediately.

5) Take It to the Grill
Pizz’alads are perfect for summer cookouts, so go ahead and take them outside to cook. Grilling pizza is easy. Here’s how you do it: Preheat the grill to medium-high. Slide the dough onto the grill rack and close the lid. Cook until it’s lightly puffed and browned on the bottom, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a pizza peel, charred-side up. Spread your toppings and return to the grill. Close the lid and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Top with the salad.

Margherita Pizz’alad
This Italian-flag-inspired Margherita pizza recipe is topped with juicy tomatoes and slices of fresh mozzarella. What could make it better? Adding a salad on top of the pizza to make a pizz’alad. In this case the Margherita pizza is topped with a salad of arugula, basil and parsley tossed with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Bread flour gives the pizza crust a crisp and sturdy structure, but all-purpose flour works well in its place. You can also try a gluten-free pizza crust variation.
Blue Cheese & Spinach Pizz'alad
Cobb salad meets pizza in this summery pizza salad recipe. The salad in this pizz'alad recipe, made with spinach, corn and blue cheese soaked in a bacon-spiked tomato vinaigrette, is so yummy you may decide just to make it on its own once you've tried it. We love a full-flavored blue cheese like Maytag on this pizza, but a milder blue cheese is also nice and will let some of the other flavors shine through a little more. Using bread flour gives the pizza crust a crisp and sturdy structure, but all-purpose flour works well in its place.
Roasted Garlic, White Bean & Kale Pizz'alad
Who says pizza needs cheese? With this pizz'alad—a pizza topped with salad—we rely on two whole heads of sweet roasted garlic to add creaminess without cheese and to keep the recipe vegan. One head of garlic is whirled together with white beans to create a spread to top the pizza dough, while the other gets “massaged” into the raw kale salad that crowns this delicious pizza. To save time, roast the garlic ahead. Using bread flour gives the pizza crust a crisp and sturdy structure, but all-purpose flour works well in its place.
Loaded Garden Pizz'alad
Here a garden salad packed with lettuce, bell pepper and avocado rests atop a provolone cheese pizza. And it's all drizzled with tangy homemade ranch dressing. We recommend a knife, fork and plenty of napkins to dig into this pizz'alad! Using bread flour gives the pizza crust a crisp and sturdy structure, but all-purpose flour works well in its place.
Prosciutto, Asiago & Bitter Greens Pizz'alad
In this healthy salad pizza recipe a simple pizza with garlic, olive oil and prosciutto is topped with an assertive bitter greens salad. The heart of this piquant pizz'alad is anchovies, a classic pizza topping that we use to flavor the salad dressing. Using bread flour gives the pizza crust a crisp and sturdy structure, but all-purpose flour works well in its place.
Vietnamese Mango & Chicken Pizz'alad
This sweet-spicy salad pizza recipe tops a crisp pizza crust with a salad of crunchy cabbage, mango and chicken tossed with a Vietnamese-inspired dressing made with fish sauce and lime juice. Be sure to serve the pizza right after you add the salad on top to keep the crust from becoming soggy. Using bread flour gives the pizza crust a crisp and sturdy structure, but all-purpose flour works well in its place.

Have you ever topped pizza with salad? Share your favorite combination! Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Food Blog, Dinner, Entertaining, Family meals

Hilary Meyer
Hilary Meyer develops and tests healthy recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Hilary asks: Have you ever topped pizza with salad? Share your favorite combination!

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