Super Salad Pizzas!
During the Super Bowl championship and playoff seasons, everyone scrambles for the best treats to serve friends and family at kickoff. Linda’s Italian Table is there for the coin toss this year with two –hear it? – TWO great pizza ideas worthy of the Super Teams.
Everyone knows and loves the traditional Pizza Napoletana – you know the drill – sauce, cheese, sausage, sometimes further complicating your palate with with peppers, mushrooms and whatever else catches your fancy. Here it is – always authentic and wonderful:
The TWO CHAMPIONSHIP PIZZAS featured here, in honor of the big games of the season, are different and will please everyone no less than the “usual suspect” with tomato sauce that we all know and love. Both are served with a topping of mixed greens or salad making them “Super Salad Pizzas”. This works, and they are amazing! They each offer a meal in one bite – throwing in some greens to make you at least feel like you are dining on a healthful item.
The first trophy contender is Pizza with Pear and Gorgonzola. I remember serving this one for the first time and hearing “I.. don’t know..,” – later resulting in its total disappearance while the saucy traditional one was left over for another meal.
The second is one that even Vince Lombardi would have enjoyed – Pizza with Eggplant. This one will disappear fast once tasted. I notice that everyone seems to like to fold the slices of this over into a sandwich for consumption. The eggplant in this one is pressed first, leaving a sweet pleasing flavor, and then roasted before topping the pizza.
To me – with pizza – the crust is as important as the topping. I recommend my pizza dough, inspired by my mother, Loretta’s delicious recipe, which I always keep frozen for “emergencies”. It’s easy and the makes the best crust I know. Visit my post PIZZA, THAT’S AMORE for the best dough recipe ever! So many have written me about their “conversion” to this dough. It is easy to make, has great texture, holds toppings well, and has perfect flavor.
On both of these pizzas, the flavors combine very favorably offering an interesting and addictive payoff! You will love them and wish you made more. May my team win!
PIZZA WITH PEAR AND GORGONZOLA
Makes: one 12-14 inch pizza
Dough for crust – recipe HERE
1 Bosc Pear thinly sliced
4 oz. Gorgonzola Cheese crumbled (more if you like)
4 oz. Fresh Mozzarella grated or sliced thinly
A few coarsely chopped nuts are nice on this one – hazelnuts or walnuts
Honey for drizzle
Mixed tender greens
Quick Orange Vinaigrette dressing for top: 1 C.Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/4 C. Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 Tsp. Dijon Mustard, 1 Tbsp. Honey, 2 Tbsp. Orange Juice, salt, pepper.
Make your pizza dough ahead. My pizza dough recipe above is easy. Keep some in the freezer at all times!
If frozen, defrost a loaf for one pizza. Roll it out. Brush or rub it with a few drops of olive oil.
Add fresh mozzarella.
Arrange the pear slices over the top.
Next – crumble the Gorgonzola over the pear.
Sprinkle with nuts.
Cook your pizza. Try using your grill – instructions HERE
While the pizza cooks – prepare your greens. I like a mix of tender fresh spring greens, baby spinach, or arugula for this. Toss with the Quick Orange Vinaigrette which can be made ahead. This makes over a cup of dressing – so you’ll have plenty left for another salad or two!
When the pizza is ready, drizzle very lightly with honey, and slice the pizza.
Mound your greens gently in the center of the pizza so that every slice gets some of the salad. Serve!
PIZZA WITH EGGPLANT
Makes one 12-14 inch pizza
Pizza dough for crust: HERE
1 small eggplant peeled – I like to partially peel mine so it is sort of striped.
1 Large Purple Onion – sliced thinly
2 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano Cheese
6 oz. (more if you like) Fresh Mozzarella sliced or grated
Salad of mixed tender greens: spring greens, arugula, baby spinach etc.
Dressing: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper to your taste
Peel and slice eggplant thinly, vertically, for long thin slices. Press the eggplant slices for a couple of hours to eliminate bitterness. Instructions for pressing: HERE
Brush slices of eggplant with olive oil on both sides and add salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until tender. Set aside.
Slice the onion thinly and caramelize – (saute in 1 tbsp. Butter, 2 Tbsp Olive Oil and 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 Tbsp water.. Salt and pepper to taste – stir occasionally until onions brown and soften – about 12 minutes at medium high heat.)
Roll out dough
Brush with olive oil
Add ½ of the mozzarella cheese.
Place the eggplant slice in a wheel style around the top.
Distribute the caramelized onions over eggplant.
Sprinkle with 2 tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano Cheese.
Add the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Cook the pizza – Instructions for grilling pizza HERE
During the cooking process – prepare your tender greens and toss with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
When the pizza is cooked- slice and then pile the tossed greens in the center of the pizza and serve – making sure every portion gets some of the greens!!
No penalties here and no flags thrown! TWO CHAMPIONSHIP PIZZAS await and are sure to please a hungry crowd! (For more great pizza ideas visit: Linda’s Italian Table!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography