This dish is a favorite of the girls in our family. Saturday night is usually pizza night at our house, but the guys like their pizza topped with loads of meat, and that’s just not how we roll, so we have a girlie pizza ourselves. This dish would be great for Meatless Friday (just don’t call it a “girlie” pizza in front of the guys). The crust is almost plain, and when it comes out of the oven, it is topped with a deliciously-balsamic-dressed salad. You could use a store-bought crust, but you might try your hand at homemade and find it’s so easy, and much tastier.
1 package active dry yeast
1 t. sugar or honey
1 cup warm water
2 ½ – 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle for spreading dough
2 T. water
2 T. white sugar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 t. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
4-5 cups mixed greens (chopped romaine and baby greens)
1 cup diced tomato or halved grape tomatoes
In a large bowl, combine yeast with sugar and warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and bubbly. Add flour, salt and oil. Mix until dough comes together. Knead in the bowl for 2-3 minutes, adding flour if necessary (if it’s too dry add a little water at a time). Dough may look a little rough, but that’s ok. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and let rise until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease pizza pan and place dough in center of pan. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to make it easy to spread. Pressing with the outer edge of your hand (wrist to tip of pinky finger) press dough outward gently, spinning pan while you work so as to gradually cover the pizza pan with the dough, being careful not to tear the dough (don’t stress if you do — this is not a fussy pizza!). Heat water and sugar in a small bowl in the microwave to melt the sugar. Using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the dough with the sugar water, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Have salad greens and tomatoes ready to toss while pizza is baking. To prepare dressing, pour vinegar, oil and mustard in a glass jar with a lid. Add salt and pepper. Shake until all ingredients are combined. Toss with salad and taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Remove pizza from oven and slice in wide slices (about 6-8 per pizza). Top each slice with salad and Parmesan shavings. We find it easiest to eat by folding the slice lengthwise down the middle to hold the salad on top.
Copyright 2016 Barbara Stein