Monday, July 19, 2010

Caesar Salad Pizza

The hot weather has helped me to get more creative with our meals, including this new one we tried last night - Caesar Salad Pizza. I got the recipe from Annie's Eats and followed her suggestion to only make half as much dough for the flatbreads. I also opted to use store-bought Caesar dressing, instead of the homemade recipe.

It turned out fantastic! We loved the crust, and the cool salad on top of the warm bread created a great meal. We used fresh tomatoes from our garden and leftover homemade garlic bread turned into croutons.


For the crust (half the original recipe):
3/4 cups warm water (105-115˚ F)
2 1/2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 tsp. honey
2-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Coarse cornmeal (for the baking sheet)
Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

In mixing bowl, combine water, 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast, olive oil, honey. Add the salt and red pepper flakes and mix on low until combined. Add another cup of flour and mix on low for about 5 minutes. Continue to add flour 1-2 Tablespoons at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. I had to knead by hand for 30 seconds or so to get the dough just right.

Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Make sure the dough is coated with oil also, either by turning in the bowl or using an oil spray directly on the dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450˚ F. If you are baking on a stone, place in the oven to preheat also. You can also use regular baking sheets. Sprinkle with cornmeal just before putting the crusts on the trays.

Once the dough has risen, divide into 4 equal pieces, cover with a wet towel and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Roll each piece of dough into a circle, about 8 inches in size. Use a little flour to keep the dough from sticking. Place dough on baking sheet and brush with olive oil, then top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 7 minutes until slightly browned.

Prepare your Caesar salad while the crusts are baking. When the crusts are finished baking, serve immediately by heaping salad onto each crust. We cut ours into pieces with a knife and fork and ate it that way, but you could probably pick it up and eat it also.

This was a great homemade pizza alternative for the summer because it does not take a long time to make and also bakes for a short period of time! We loved the crust so much that I am planning to make it again soon, with different toppings. You really should try this amazing Caesar salad pizza!

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