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A few years ago I wanted to make the flavors of a classic pizza, but make a salad. All I found was a salad on top of a pizza crust which was fun,but very hard to eat. Tortillas were more Mexican to me; and, I didn't want pasta. So this was my version and I love it. The best part is you can really use any ingredients you want. I happen to love the pepperoni, ham, red pepper just for some color and olives, but throw in some mushrooms or green peppers if you want - there is no exact recipe for this. Two notes: The tomato dressing is a key ingredient; as is the marinated mozzarella. It definitely doesn't take long and adds great flavor to this salad.
Cheese and Marinade
- 2⁄3 cup balsamic salad dressing (I make my own, but there are many quality store bought dressings that are available)
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, diced (now if you want to use those pre-marinated mozarella balls, you can, they just cost more)
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 6 ounces v 8 juice (a spicy tomato juice will also work)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (more or less according to how thick you like your dressing)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1⁄2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 1 large pre-made pizza crust (Boboli is one brand, but any store bought packaged crust will work)
- 2⁄3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 8 cups romaine lettuce, rough chopped
- 1 cup pepperoni, diced (I get mine a bit thicker cut from the deli, also it is cheaper and you will have no waste)
- 1 cup italian ham, diced (once again, just from the deli, cheaper and buy only what you need)
- 1 (7 ounce) jar roasted red peppers
- 1 medium onion, cut in quarters and thin sliced
- 1⁄2 cup black olives, cut in half
- Cheese -- In a small pan (a pie plate or something similar works great), add the cheese, store bought dressing and a pinch of the red pepper flakes. Just toss to make sure everything is well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate 1 hour to all day. Longer the better.
- Dressing -- Another easy component of this salad. Make the day before (just hold off adding the fresh basil until ready to serve). In a small measuring cup or bowl, mix the tomato juice, tomato paste, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh basil. Just set to the side until you are ready to use.
- Crust -- In a small measuring cup or bowl, add the olive oil, pepper, and oregano and brush on a store bought pizza crust. Top with the grated cheese and bake according to package directions until crusty golden brown.
- Salad -- While your pizza crust is browning up - make your salad. To a large bowl, add the lettuce, onion, pepperoni, ham, red peppers, and olives. Remove the mozzarella from the marinade with a slotted spoon and add to the salad. You don't want any of the marinade in your salad. Then top with some of the tomato dressing and toss well. Cut the pizza crust with your pizza wheel and add the warm cheesy dough to the salad. You can cut it as small as you want, almost like a bread salad, or you can cut it in wedges. I personally cut mine in 1" pieces. Toss well.
- Serve -- Nothing more needed. It is just a really nice salad. Last time I served this with a side of roasted corn chowder to my friends. Great dinner and it is best just served family style which makes it great for company.
This recipe was the BOMB! I was tired of the same old salad so even though I was a little cynical of how good this recipe would be I tried it and boy was I surprised! The flavors meld together so well! My DM and I both agreed this is going to become as regular as Taco Salad! And it'll be the main course! Great Recipe~!!
Wonderful salad. I made Sheila's Best Balsamic Dressing to marinate the cheese for 4 hours. I also made fresh pizza dough and cooked it on the KJ. We loved the combination of everything together. I have dressing and cheese leftover so will be having it again in the next couple days. Do try this great salad.
Delicious! My husband didn't even add dressing - said it had enough flavor on its own.