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Recipe

Pizza Salad

Christopher Testani

Servings: 4 to 6

This combination of a warm crispy pizza crust topped with a vinegary chopped salad is such a natural and delicious pairing, you won’t believe you’ve never tried it before. Topping the pizza with slices of prosciutto or flakes of oil-soaked tuna fish makes it more substantial for dinner, but it’s great meatless too. You can make your own dough, but we generally pick up a ball at the local pizzeria or supermarket.

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus 3 Tbs., and extra for greasing the pan
  • 1 ball store-bought pizza dough, at or close to room temperature
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme or 1 scant tsp. dried
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • One 6-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts (about 1 cup), drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed
  • 6 large handfuls of assorted lettuces, torn into bite-size pieces
  • One 5-oz. can tuna packed in oil, drained, or 1/4 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto (optional)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 oz.)

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 500°F, with a rack in the upper third position. In a large bowl, combine the shallots and vinegar, then set aside. Grease an 18 x 13-inch sheet pan with oil, making sure you get into the corners. Put the dough on the pan and firmly push and stretch it with your fingers, letting it rest briefly every few pushes and stretches, until it covers the bottom of the pan in a relatively even layer. (Depending on the temperature and elasticity of your dough, it might not stretch as easily. Don’t  worry if it doesn’t completely reach the edges. Just fill the pan as much as you can.) Repair any holes by pinching the dough together.
  • Brush the dough with the 2 Tbs. oil. Sprinkle the thyme evenly over the dough, press the leaves into it a bit, and season with salt and pepper. Bake the dough, rotating the pan halfway through, until golden brown on the bottom and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to the bowl with the shallots and vinegar, add a splash of lemon juice and the remaining 3 Tbs. oil. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk together. Check the seasonings by quickly dipping in a piece of lettuce, shaking it off, and tasting. Top the dressing with the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, cucumbers, capers, lettuce, and tuna (if using) and set aside without tossing.
  • When the crust is ready, transfer it to a cutting board. Toss the salad, check the seasonings, then mound it evenly over the crust, leaving a narrow border around the edges. Lay the prosciutto slices (if using) across the salad and scatter the feta over top. Cut the pizza salad and serve right away.

Tip

Because the dough is more pliable and easier to shape when at room temperature, we recommend putting it in a large oiled bowl, covering it with plastic wrap or a dish towel, and setting it on the counter for about 1 hour (or up to 9 hours) before you use it.

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