Firstly, I love a crisp zingy salad to go with my pizza. It cuts through all that decadent melty cheese but most of the time I never end up making a salad and just devour the pizza as is. But this whole Salad Pizza, salad on the pizza. It's a revelation. Fresh, satisfying, zingy, cheesey, even healthy and it's pizza. Who doesn't love pizza?
You start off by brushing the base with a sort of egg-wash to make the sesame and poppy seeds stick, then smother the base with garlic, onion and mozzarella. Bake until golden then allow to cool, I couldn't wait as usual so mine was still warm. Smoosh over creme fraiche (I used greek yoghurt as thats all we had and it was still delicious) and top with your salad mix thats full of tomatoes, mixed lettuce leaves, feta, onion and dressed in a lemon vinaigrette. Top with avo and there you have it. Salad Pizza.
The recipe comes from a cookbook which I was kindly sent call Los Angeles Cult Recipes by Victor Garnier Astorino, it's pretty self explanatory, it's full of iconic recipes from all over LA. From Hollywood Hills to Venice Beach featuring local farmers markets and iconic restaurants. It's not your typical styled cookbook book and has more of a feel like you are flicking through someones holiday snaps. Now, my only experience of Los Angeles is LAX Airport where all I remember is the huge and delicious and huge Cobb Salad I had. You don't get Cobb salad here so this was novelty. Did I mention it was huge? I also don't have any other Cobb Salad to compare this too so if you know of one I should try, I'm up for it. Oh and I also remember taking your shoes off through security and that once you were through security there was next to nothing to eat, see or do. Tip: bring a book.
There are quite a few other recipes I want to get stuck into such as the Cobb Salad, Banh-Mi Chicken Tacos, Vanilla Donuts, Banana Cream Pie, Lobster Roll and Hawaiian Tuna Poke. There is also a few other interesting pizza's in the book... mac and cheese pizza anyone? And it does supply a pizza dough recipe but it requires three days prep and I am not that organised. Instead I ended up using a recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, called rushed pizza dough. It was great. If you are an organise person, I'd suggest you make the Jim Lahey pizza dough the night or morning before, it really is one of the best homemade ones I've had, yet for some reason I've never shared it with you before now.
Salad Pizza is definitely going to get a working this summer, pizza stone on the BBQ and voila! Pizza oven outside. I am not turning tiny apartment into a sauna this summer (again).
I know the recipes below look long (thats because there is three of them) and a lot of ingredients (thats because there is three of them) but it's not really... because it's three recipes. Pizza, Dressing and Dough. Just do it!
Salad Pizzarecipe from Los Angeles Cult Recipes by Victor Garnier Astorino
(makes 1 x 9 inch pizza)
pizza dough for 1 base (recipe I used below or here or here)
1 small handful poppy seeds
1 small handful sesame seeds
3 or 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
75g light creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1 big handful of mixed salad leaves
1 tomato, chunky diced
1/2 white onion, finely sliced*
60g feta cheese, diced
lemon vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/4 avocado, sliced**
*I used 1 whole red onion instead of 1/2 and 1/2.
**only a 1/4?? come on... 1/2 at least!
Preheat your oven to it's highest temperature it goes and if you have a pizza stone, place that in the oven too.
Spread out the pizza dough to about 30cm in diameter. Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl then brush the entire surface of the pizza, inside and outside of the edges with the whisked eggs. Sprinkle over the poppy seeds, sesame seeds and chopped garlic - they seeds and garlic need to stick to the egg. Sprinkle with mozzarella and finely chopped red onion.
Bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes, the edges should be golden brown. Allow to cool.***
Mix the salad leaves with tomato, white onion and feta. Dress with a couple of tablespoons of lemon vinaigrette. Spread the dressed salad over the cheesy garlicky pizza base and top with avocado slices.
*** I topped my pizza when it was still slightly warm as I am impatient and was hungry. Just meant it needed to be eaten quickly and not sitting around. Delicious!
Lemon Vinaigretterecipe (slightly adapted) from Los Angeles Cult Recipes by Victor Garnier Astorino
(makes enough for salad pizza and to dress your salads throughout the week)
125ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
60ml (1/4 cup) white wine vinegar
1 small bunch curly-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed/minced
45ml fresh lemon juice
30g dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place everything in a glass jar, put the lid on (make sure it's tight!) and shake shake shake.
Rushed Pizza dough - using a mixerrecipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
makes 1 thin 30cm round pizza
100ml warm water
1 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
200g plain or bread flour, plus more for counter
1 teaspoon table salt
olive oil, for coating bowl
Turn your oven to warm (120C) for 5 minutes, then turn off.
Using an electric mixer, pour the warm water into the bowl of your mixer, sprinkle yeast over the water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour, then salt and mix using your dough hook on a oderate speed until the mixture starts to form a craggy mass. Reduce the speed to love and mix for 5 minutes, letting the dough hook knead the mass until smooth, elastic dough. Remove the dough and wipe out the bowl.
Coast the inside of your wiped out mixing bowl with olive oil, place the dough back in and cover with plastic wrap. Place in previously warmed (turned off) oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes or until doubled. Remove dough from oven (now is a good time to preheat it according to your recipe's instructions).
Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and roll and/or stretch to fit your baking tray/pizza peel. Your pizza dough is now ready to top with delicious goodies.