When I was growing up, we had a green salad with every dinner. The salad habit was a good one to have, and we happily ate a tidy portion of leafy greens with whatever was served.
Salad is the perfect side dish with our favorite food, pizza. It was inevitable that we combine the two, and make a Grilled Pizza With Salad.
A warm, chewy crust, with a melty spread of sautéed onions and garlic, topped with cool, crunchy greens in vinaigrette, is the perfect summer meal. The play between warm and cool, cooked and raw makes it much more interesting than your standard cheesy pizza.
Since it’s grilling season, leave the oven off and make cook your pizza on the grill. You’ll have the most success with grilled pizzas when you let go of the notion that pizzas must be round. Trust me, it’s just as irresistible when it’s stretched to an oval shape, and you can fit two pizzas on the grate. It’s even delicious when you fling the dough on the grate a little crooked, and end up with a pizza shaped like the state of Minnesota or Maine.
Technically speaking, this is really a grilled flatbread with salad on it. You’ll avoid some of the common pitfalls of pizza on the grill by making it this way. The key is to go light on the toppings. Because the heat is coming from the bottom of the grill, it’s easy to burn your crust while you wait for sauce and cheese to get hot. That’s why a light topping of sautéed onions, garlic and Parmesan is a perfect solution. It will heat through quickly with the grill cover closed.
You have the option of making your own overnight pizza crust or using frozen dough. Making the dough the day before, then refrigerating it overnight is a way to build a little fermented flavor and let the dough do the work.
All grills are a little different, so pay attention to the visual clues. Once you place your dough on the grill, use tongs to peek under and look for grill marks. If it’s getting dark fast, reduce the heat or move it to the cool side of the grill. Once you flip it, you want a little time to let the dough cook through.
Then top off the pizza with that familiar green salad for a delicious meal.
Robin Asbell is a cooking instructor and author of “Big Vegan” and “Plant-Based Meats.” Find her at robinasbell.com.