Shane is a person who can eat salad for dinner. As in, that’s all he eats as his main — some greens tossed with red onions and a few tomatoes, dressed with oil and vinegar and perhaps a few hunks of goat cheese.
I am not that kind of person. For me, a salad as an entree signifies someone who is hungry but on a diet and so tries to sate their hunger both for thinness and food with a few green leaves. It’s depressing — not a recipe for a good meal.
There are a few (very, very few) salads that I don’t view this way, but this is one of them — probably because it tops a grilled pizza crust. And pizza can redeem almost anything, even salad. I absolutely love the heat of a crispy yet chewy bread paired with the coolness of the greens. It doesn’t hurt that it’s all perked up by a balsamic vinaigrette and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
As much as I dislike salad, I could really go for one of these right now.
Salad, prepped anyway you like (the above is a romaine lettuce mix, with grape tomatoes and red onions tossed with Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette and topped with grated Parmesan)
prepared pizza dough (recipe below)
Oil the grill and preheat to medium.
Divide dough into four equal pieces and roll out thinly. Brush both sides lightly with extra virgin olive oil.
Lay the dough on the grill, close the lid and let cook for about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip crust over so that the grilled side is now facing up. Grill for another 5 – 7 minutes until the bottom is browned and crisp.
Remove crusts to plates and top with prepared salad.
Basic Pizza Dough (source)
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, honey, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, stirring to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until the dough is smooth but still slightly sticky. You might not need all of the flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.
Oil a large mixing bowl with remaining olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place, free from drafts until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.