Monday, September 26, 2011

White Pizza topped with Spinach Salad and Prosciutto

Things that keep me up at night:

1. Lesson planning for math class
2. University students who are living in apartments - on their own for the first time - drunkenly singing songs from the Lion King
3. The realization that we eat pizza in some form multiple times a week.

Okay, maybe the last one doesn't keep me awake at night, but I was struck by that realization of just how much pizza we eat each week. It's not usually a cheese and meat laden extravaganza - in fact, I think variations of the vegan Thrive Diet pizza are probably the kinds that we eat most frequently.

But, there is something about having pizza that makes the weekend feel like the weekend. And, if you make an extra large batch of dough one day and store the remainder of the dough in the freezer, it feels like you've barely put any work into a homemade pizza dinner.

And personally, I like that feeling.

I tried something I haven't done before with pizza the other night - forgo the sauce and the cooked toppings.

Instead, the base was baked with a brush of truffle oil and a mixture of mozzarella and blue cheeses. Once pulled from the oven, I topped it with a dressed spinach salad with prosciutto.

So, it's more salad than pizza... right?

White Pizza with Spinach and Prosciutto

(serves 4)


pizza dough (I used the half I'd set aside from this recipe)
1 tbsp truffle oil (you could use any flavoured oil in its place - garlic oil would be particularly delicious)
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
4 cups baby spinach greens
2 oz thick cut prosciutto, chopped
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste


1. Place pizza stone in a cold oven. Turn oven on to its highest setting (500º-550º) and preheat stone for an hour. Half an hour into the preheating process, turn pizza dough out onto a floured surface (a pizza peel would be perfect here. Otherwise, use a piece of parchment paper. This will allow you to transfer the dough to the hot stone with minimal fuss. Please note that using the paper will prevent the same kind of crisp browning you would usually get) and shape into the size you want it to be. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

2. Brush dough with truffle oil and sprinkle cheese over surface. Bake in oven for 12 - 17 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden. Remove from oven.

3. While crust is baking, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper. I like to throw dressing ingredients into a small mason jar and shake them up. I find it emulsifies much better that way. Place spinach and prosciutto into a bowl and toss with dressing. Place spinach salad on top of pizza and serve immediately.

The spinach closest to the crust will start to wilt slightly in the heat. Can you say yum?


Sweet And Crumby said...

I am mesmerized by you gorgeous rustic pizza. I would eat pizza ALL THE TIME if it looked like THAT! I do think it's fairly healthy so don't stay up at night about that. I didn't know you could freeze pizza dough. Really? How do you defrost it? TY!

Alyson said...

I put it into freezer bags before the rising step. When I need it, I pull it out the night before and let it sit in the fridge in the bag. An hour before using it, I put it out at room temperature.

Alternatively, you can go directly from freezer to room temperature and let it sit for 4 hours or so.

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