Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Four Cheese Salad Pizza with Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cheesy and full of flavor, this Four Cheese Salad Pizza with Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette will become a favorite!

Cheese pizza can only be made better by adding three more types of cheese and a zesty and fresh salad topping. A little browned, roasted-like garlic only adds to this already delicious pizza!

Of course, not everyone will love the idea to put a salad on top of their pizza. If you're unsure just serve it on the side and let them decide for themselves! 

The Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette has so much flavor. I think the most important part is the flavored olive oil. Of course, you can buy a lemon garlic infused olive oil. I just made a quick one and used the crispy garlic as a topping on the pizza. Not only does it taste just like slow roasted garlic, it adds so much flavor to the dressing and pizza. You'll use 1/4 cup oil for the dressing and the rest to brush the pizza crust. 

Use whatever cheeses you like. I use mozzarella, ricotta, asiago, and a finishing of shaved parmesan over the salad. 

Four Cheese Salad Pizza
  • 1 ball pizza dough (I used white whole wheat)
  • about 4 to 6 cups washed & dried salad greens
  • 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella (I used part skim)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta (I used part skim)
  • 1/4 cup shredded asiago 
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing pizza crust
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
  • red pepper flakes, as desired (optional)
  • Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette, recipe below
Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, reserved from garlic and lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Add the 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon peel, and garlic to a saucepan. Slowly bring the oil to a low simmer. As the lemon peel and garlic is browned, remove them. Keep garlic and discard lemon peel. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Reserve oil. When garlic is cooled, chop it and set aside.

Heat the oven to 400 F

Press the pizza dough into a large disk and place on a greased pizza pan or cookie sheet. Prick holes with a fork in the center of the dough. Brush about a tablespoon reserved flavored olive oil on the crust. Sprinkle mozzarella over the crust. Dollop ricotta over the mozzarella and sprinkle with the asiago. Arrange the reserved chopped garlic over the pizza and sprinkle with dried italian seasoning. Sprinkle with salt and pepper over the entire pizza. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Allow to sit on the pizza pan for about 5 to 8 minutes. 

Meanwhile, add lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper to a bowl. Slowly whisk in reserved garlic-lemon infused olive oil until combined. Add the salad greens to a large bowl and dress with vinaigrette as desired. 

Toss salad on top of pizza and sprinkle with shaved parmesan and red pepper flakes. Slice into 8 slices and enjoy!

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