Salad Pizza! Is it a new concept? I don’t think so! Am I 10000% obsessed and can’t get enough… the answer is yes!
I love pizza. That goes without saying. It’s my love language and there’s no changing that. I serve it up on a weekly basis with my moms cucumber salad from cookbook #2 on the side and it is truly my definition of perfection. What takes it up to a whole new level is when you put that salad ON TOP OF THE PIZZA
Mind blown. I know, you’re thinking this is weird. But let me tell you, that slightly acidic punch from the vinaigrette on top of melty gooey cheese and perfectly charred pizza crust – it’s a match made in heaven. The vinaigrette and the greens cut down on the decadence of the pizza so you can eat 3 whole pizzas without any guilt. Okay, maybe don’t go for 3… but do what you want. I can promise you, you’ll be fully obsessed.
For those of you just getting into the AMAZING world of making your own pizza, I wanted to answer some common questions I get on the regular.
How is pizza made?
Pizza can be made in a variety of different ways using a variety of different methods to cook the pizza. I like to break it down into how I got introduced to cooking pizza.
The first pizza I ever made was baked in our oven on a baking sheet, it was delicious and not that difficult to do. The hardest part was probably rolling out the dough.
Pro Tip: Let the dough come to room temperature before rolling it out. This makes it much easier to work with.
Once I got comfortable working the dough and getting my toppings dialed in, I invested in a pizza stone. This was a game changer for cooking pizzas in the oven. The texture of the crust completely changed for the good and my pizza got one step closer to tasting like proper restaurant style pizza.
My second phase of pizza cooking came in the form of using our outdoor grill to make pizza. It truly is one of my favorite methods to making a great pizza and once you get the hang of it, not super difficult. I cover all the step by step directions for how to grill a pizza (gas and charcoal) in my Grilled BBQ chicken pizza post here.
Note: When using the grill to cook your pizza you can either put the dough straight on the grill or use a pizza stone on you grill, both are wonderful options to use.
The third and final phase of my pizza journey was making pizzas in a proper pizza oven. I have used both counter top and outdoor pizza ovens. The key is that these ovens can reach temperatures of 750-900 degree range. That temperature is the sweet spot for making a perfect pizza. At those temps the pizza cooks in roughly 60-90 seconds. The reason you want to cook pizza in this range is specifically for the crust and cheese. When you get into the 750-900 degree range the crust gets crispy without drying out on the inside, due to the speed at which everything cooks, it simply does not have time to over bake the inside. It also fully melts the cheese on top. A great pizza has a crispy crust, melted cheese and is light and airy inside.
How do pizza ovens work?
We just got an outdoor pizza oven and I will have to say it is AMAZING. Using a pizza oven feels like a very old school way of cooking, your basically heating your oven using fire, and working the fire to achieve an internal temperature of 800-900 degrees.
You start your fire like any campfire, using kindling to get a flame going. From there you add in your logs to build the fire. Pizza ovens do best with harder types of wood such as split logs from fruit trees. We use almond wood with our pizza oven. Once you get the fire going it usually takes around 45 min to reach the necessary temperature. The goal is to get the internal temperature as well as the stone surface of the oven between 800 and 900 degrees.
Once the oven is up to temp you want to make sure that the fire and coals are pushed to the side. This gives you a clear surface to slide in your pizza. The hot stones will cook the crust of the pizza from the bottom, and the indirect heat from the fire will hit the top of your pizza and melt the cheese and crisp up your toppings. If done properly and at the right temperatures the pizza will cook in 60-90 seconds.
Can Pizza Dough be frozen?
Yes, pizza dough can 100% be frozen. When I buy pizza dough pre-made I will usually purchase 3 or 4 at a time. When I get home they go straight into our freezer until needed. One thing to keep in mind when freezing pizza dough is that it needs a long time to de-thaw. When it comes time to make your pizza, be sure to pull the dough out of the freezer first thing in the morning and let it come to room temperature.
Pro Tip: When it comes to store bought pizza dough, I have found that small Italian delis usually have the best pre-made pizza dough.
Should I use a pizza stone?
If you have access to a pizza stone 100% use it. This will take your pizza game to the next level. When you use a pizza stone, the cook surface of the stone absorbs the temperature of the oven, which causes the crust to cook immediately upon entering the oven. This also helps cook your pizza crust evenly and will give you a faster cook time. If possible you want to get your stone up to a minimum 500 degrees.
How to make pizza dough?
Pizza dough is actually one of the easier things to make. I have an amazing recipe for how to make homemade pizza dough here. It requires 2 types of flour (00 flour and all purpose flour), salt, yeast, and olive oil. In my post I cover where you can get 00 flour and the proper measurements and steps to make an amazing homemade pizza dough.
A few other pizzas that would be great with a salad on top:
- Basil Vin and Goat Cheese Pizza
- Three Cheese Pizza
- Garlic Mushroom and Spinach Pizza
- Pesto Pea Pizza
- Spicy Broccolini Sheet Pan Pizza
- Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza
- Green Pizza
- 1 lb pizza dough
- 1/4 cup olive
- 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup crumbled Goat Cheese
- red pepper flakes and lemon wedges for serving
For the Salad
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped shallot
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 cups market greens
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Thirty minutes before cooking the pizza, put your pizza stone in the oven
- Divide the dough in half. Stretch each piece dough in a circular motion, then lay them out on a flat surface and flatten out using a rolling pin. If you have a pizza peel, sprinkle some flour on it and place the stretched out dough on the peel
- Once your pizza dough is flat and ready to be cooked, brush equal parts of the olive oil over the pizza and sprinkle with equal amounts of garlic. Pile with the goat cheese and mozzarella and season with salt and pepper
- Transfer the pizza into the oven and bake until the crust is golden
- Remove pizza from the oven. Season with red pepper flakes, and the dressed greens loaded on top