Kale Caesar Salad Pizza on Parmesan Crust.
I have this thing about pizza and salad.
This thing, as in, I’m completely crazy about it.
And I always have been.
Even when I really couldn’t stand vegetables, back in the early days when I was trying to eat them regularly, I loooooved salad with pizza.
And I bet we all know why!
If you ever look at my salad recipes, you’ll notice they certainly are not lacking in the homemade dressing department. I’ve never really cared for any sort of bottled dressing, which I believe also contributed to my lackluster salad love in the early days. Because not only did I not want the veggies, I couldn’t even find something that I loved to go on top! Whomp whomp.
Sometimes I’d make do with a bottled balsamic or oil and vinegar blend (Newman’s Own and DeLallo’s sweet Italian are both ones I enjoy) but it wasn’t until I started making my own vinaigrettes that I started to seriously enjoy salads. What can I say… I’m a vinegar freak.
However. The dressing always mattered when it came to pizza + salad for dipping purposes. Right? RIGHT.
Here’s the other thing. You might think I’m totally crazy but I would never, never ever ever dip my pizza crust in ranch dressing. I would never put real ranch dressing ON my pizza either. No drizzle.
Do you?? I bet you totally do.
I know it’s a favorite, I even get it. I’m sure it tastes good. But ranch dressing is just something that I don’t love (I sort of like homemade avocado ranch, but that’s about it) and the thought of dragging my crust through a ranch river is just… no.
Instead, I want to drag it through an Italian blend river or some sort of delicious briney, vinegar based dressing. I want to soak the crust in that and pile salad on top.
So I did it!
As usual thought, as typically basic as you can imagine, I have an exception.
Caesar dressing is the one creamy dressing I can get behind. Especially this greek yogurt version that’s a major staple in our house. I’m talking WEEKLY. We use this dressing constantly, if not every week, certainly a few times per month.
Eddie requests a kale Caesar all the time, and a kale Caesar isn’t completely without some croutons. So I put said kale Caesar on top of one giant crouton!
It’s not as plain and boring as it looks, I swear. Eddie walked in the door and was like… soooo it’s just salad on crust?
Well, no. But yes. Kind of.
Parmesan pizza crust that is crunchy on the outsides but a little chewy and fluffy on the inside. Drizzled with garlic butter, sprinkle with parm and piled high with kale salad. Lots of cheese shavings and a few extra breadcrumbs, just in case you like to eat bread with your bread. Raise your hand if you do!
- 1 1/8 cups warm water
- 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- extra parmesan for sprinkling
- 1 head of kale, stems removed (about 4 to 6 cups)
- 1 stalk of romaine lettuce
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour, the parmesan and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 1/2 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas – this specific dough will yield one pizza large enough to feed about 3-4 people) and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (If I use my pizza stone, I heat my oven to 475 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. If you’re just using a baking sheet, follow the directions below for baking and set to 425 degrees.) Brush the dough with extra olive oil and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven. In a bowl stir the melted butter with the garlic cloves and brush it on the crust. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Add the kale in a large bowl. Chop the stalk of romaine and set it off to the side.
To make the dressing, add the garlic, yogurt, parmesan, mustard, vinegar, anchovy paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until pureed. With the processor still on, stream in the olive oil until a creamy dressing forms. [This will make more dressing than needed, but you can store it sealed in the fridge for about 3-4 days and stir well before using.]
Add about 1/4 cup of the dressing on the kale and toss well to distribute. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Toss in the romaine. Add a touch more dressing if desired.
Deffffinitely health food.