This is one of my all-time favorite pizzas. And it’s so perfect to feature on my blog, because it truly illustrates how reformed my once-picky palate has become. Growing up, pizza was always in the “special treats”, or “indulgences” category. We didn’t have it all the time, by any stretch. So as you can imagine, when it was permitted, I wasn’t about to let any veggies get anywhere near my slices! The cheesier and meatier, the better.
It wasn’t until my late twenties that I started to come around and realize that oh, vegetables on a pizza isn’t some horrific crime against humanity, and that it really can be quite tasty. Not that you’ll ever hear me complaining about the meat lovers variety, but I truly have come around to genuinely appreciate different pizza toppings.
And now, as a mature adult, salad atop a pizza is honestly one of my favorite things on earth. If only that little kid in the buffet line at Cici’s Pizza, scowling at the mere presence of the veggie supreme pizzas, could see me now…
So this pizza basically takes the most basic and classic of French salads, which is greens dressed with a mustard-based vinaigrette and sprinkled with crispy bacon, and deconstructs it into a pizza. Dijon mustard is spread on the dough, with Swiss cheese on top. Then crisped, bacon bits are scattered on top of the melty cheese and the greens are dressed simply with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. When the pizza is cooked completely you take it out of the oven and toss the greens on top, then dive in immediately. (Hey, the French haven’t solved all the world’s problems – the greens will eventually wilt.)
And you dig in. All those French flavors come together in each bite. And it’s so delicious. I hope y’all enjoy it.
Source: adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, Issue June/July 2010
1 lb. ball of pizza dough
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
8 oz. Jarlsberg, or Swiss cheese, grated
6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium shallot, sliced thin
4 cups baby arugula, or other light greens of your choice
1 tbs white wine vinegar
3 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grate.
Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle that will still fit on your grill surface. Carefully transfer the dough to the hot grill and grill for about 4-5 minutes until the underside is getting some good grill marks. Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet, uncooked side down.
Spread the cooked side with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the cheese on the mustard.
Transfer the pizza back onto the grill, uncooked side down. Close the lid and cook another 5-8 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
While the dough is grilling, make the bacon bits. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring, until bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Pour out all but 1 tbs of the bacon fat. Add the shallot to the remaining bacon fat in the skillet, over medium heat. Saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
When ready to serve, remove the pizza from the grill and sprinkle the bacon pieces evenly over the top. Transfer the shallots to a large bowl. Add the vinegar and olive oil, then the arugula. Toss to combine, then immediately place the salad on top of the pizza. Cut into squares and serve right away.