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Salad Pizza - WTF!!

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A local pizza chain recently added a "Salad Pizza" to the menu. Lettuce, onions, tomatoes, olives and other salad toppings and salad dressing of your choice on a baked pizza shell. I thought that was a bit strange, but then while browsing some of the boards here I have seen threads like, "Where is the best salad pizza in (insert town/neighborhood here)?"

It doesn't sound too appetizing to me. It also sounds like it would be tough to eat.

Is this some hot new trend I missed somewhere along the way?

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  1. My single attachment to salad pizza is at Abbot's Pizza in Venice, Santa Monica and Culver City (Venice and Culver City preferred). I usually eat bread with my salad - all in one bite with the salad pizza - it's a nice way to start a pizza meal. If you do an image search of, "Abbot's salad pizza" you'll get a handful of hits.

    1. You know what you should try if you get the chance?

      Pizza pot pie.

      Think chicken pot pie, but with tomato sauce, sausage, and cheese.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Would this be very much like Chicago Deep Dish pizza?

        (Congrats, ipsedixit, on your return to your previous avatar. I guess this means you are feeling better. Anyway, that blue avatar makes me think of a new VW beetle for some reason. )

        1. re: Tripeler

          Sort of. Or maybe more like a Calzone stuffed into a ramekin?

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Could it be that the Calzone is raspberry flavored, hence the blue color?
            You know, like an Icee?

            1. re: ipsedixit

              The pizza pot pie exists here:

              http://www.chicagopizzaandovengrinder...

              I was a semi-regular when I ilved in Chicago many years ago. It was a delicious change of pace from the normal thin crust or stuffed offerings in town.

        2. Salad pizza has been a regular item in NYC and Long Island pizzerias for the last 10 years or so. I don't get it myself.

          11 Replies
          1. re: EM23

            Those salad pizzas have been around for awhile, like decades. I'm not much of a fan either, not when eating out, anyway. Good for lactose intolerant types, though.

            The best I've seen is a thin crust, grilled, and topped with romaine, oil cured olives, tomatoes, onions and a good olive oil vinaigrette, with shavings of Parmesan. The problem I've found with getting this dish at a pizza place is that the salad tends to wilt and become discolored pretty quickly; not very appetizing. A smaller version made at home it might be a different story.

            Photo, not mine. Looks quite edible though.

             
            1. re: bushwickgirl

              The salad pizzas I've had have been less salad-y. Basically just a small tangle of lightly dressed arugula, parmesan shavings, olives and sometimes a bit of tomato on a pizza base, with a lot of the crust still visible underneath. So the salad doesn't take over the dish.

              1. re: piccola

                Mm, everything in NYC tends to be over the top. This is why I don't like that salad pizza thing here, less is more when it comes to the bottom line.

                "So the salad doesn't take over the pizza" that's the point.

              2. re: bushwickgirl

                Sadly the salad slices I see never look like that pic.
                And, in the interest of full disclosure, if I am already standing inside of a pizzeria I will, without a doubt, be getting something with cheese and sauce. I can make a great salad at home anyday. A visit to a pizzeria is occasional and carby treat.

                1. re: EM23

                  Same here, all the way.

              3. re: EM23

                Are the vegetables (or at least some of them) added after baking, or before? I can't imagine lettuce being very appealing after sitting in a hot oven.

                1. re: BobB

                  I suppose that's a legitimate question but no, it's added after.

                  The dough right out of the oven does a fairly quick wilt job on lettuce, the larger and hotter the bread is.

                2. re: EM23

                  >>>
                  ...for the last 10 years or so...
                  <<<

                  Geeze! I knew Syracuse was behind the times, but 10 years!!??

                  1. re: al b. darned

                    Well, maybe, but what's up with you?

                    There are things in life that escape notice, while you're living your life, working, raising your children, I guess this is one of them for you. It's not an big deal. Make a salad pizza at home. Enjoy.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      That should read "what's up with now?" I didn't mean to sound less than friendly.

                    2. re: al b. darned

                      perhaps even longer. i remember going home to NYC from CA in 1998 and seeing the salad pizza at every pizza joint...it's not that syracuse is behind the times, but perhaps it just picks up different trends.

                  2. Salad pizza sounds like fat-free Oreos or decaf coffee. What's the freakin' point???

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                      It may sound that way to you, but the version I eat (regularly) is far from that. Prep is important - laying fresh salad ingredients AFTER the pie crust has cooled is important, but before that, laying down a layer of some dairy (sour cream, ricotta, etc.) imparts great richness, and being in California, fresh salad ingredients is pretty standard. The combination works very well for me.

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        If you're letting the crust cool first, the whole thing sounds to me much more akin to an open-faced pita veggie sandwich than anything I'd refer to as pizza.

                        1. re: BobB

                          The crust should be quite warm, the salad should be well chilled, and the whole thing should be wolfed down very quickly.

                          1. re: BobB

                            If your pizza crust is like a typical pita bread, then I'd call your pizza a dressed flatbread. The salad pizza I'm familiar with doesn't even remotely remind of pita.

                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              I'm not saying that pizza crust is the same as pita, just that the closest standard dish that came to mind was a pita stuffed with salad (cold bread, cold veggies). Not very pizzaish to my mind, but hey, if it tastes good call it whatever you like.

                              1. re: BobB

                                This runs into the whole area of "counter intuitive" food such as the first time I encountered "grilled Romain" lettuce at Orris on Sawtelle. I can't imagine iceberg type lettuce done like that. I don't even like it when places like Gilbert's El Indio put iceberg lettuce in items like their "Fernando's" burrito (chili relleno) and always have them omit the lettuce.

                      2. Is it like a piadini? That's been around for a long time.

                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mi...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chowser

                          Yes, around at least 12-14 years as piedini. Love 'em.

                        2. My family has used salad dressing as a dipping sauce with pizza for years. Ranch, italian, thousand island, etc.

                          1. Are you kidding me? That's a real menu item? And here I thought I invented it when I tossed BLT ingredients together and put them on top of some pizza dough I'd brushed with olive oil, salt and garlic and baked.

                            Guess I'm behind, rather than brilliant.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Isolda

                              +i baby, +1. You are beyond brilliant.

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                So yummy - we've been making it at home for years, too. I think it's funny people think it wouldn't be good!

                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                  IMHO, one has to have an open mind about food, particularly us Hounds. And in this case, I know it's kinda unorthodox, but it does work...

                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                    This photo of Abbott's salad pizza is from the Food Bin blog titled "Family Circus" and shows it off pretty well: http://foodbin.files.wordpress.com/20...

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      Looks delicious to me. When I make one, it's a garlic crust white pizza, topped with a lightly dressed vinaigarette. But this avocado thing would work for me, too.

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        That's a beauty!

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          That's the one! I usually eat two slices before starting into their other slices...

                                2. I have tried salad pizza, and my response next time would be "No thanks." You see it in pizzerias and there is a slice of cold pizza with some quickly-wilting lettuce on top. So what happens next? Does the pizza get heated with the salad, or is it removed while the slice is in the oven and then replaced when the pizza gets hot? Either way, it's unappealing to me since hot with salad = slime. "Gimme a slice, mister, the plain cheese one. Salad? No thank you!'

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    I just ordered take out from our local favorite pizza spot, and noticed salad pizza on the menu. Sure, by the time it's delivered (these people are notoriously slow) it'll be as you described. Yuk.

                                    Really the best way to do salad pizza is at home.

                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                      They're boxed separately for take-out where I live. One of my favorite to-go dishes. Hot pizza dough, tossed salad. Put the salad on the hot pizza, and fold the entire thing in half and eat it like a big taco. Wonderful!

                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                        "They're boxed separately for take-out where I live."

                                        That sounds like a much better way of handling it, sadly just not the habit here. If I was to order SP, I'd request that my friendly neighborhood pizza place keep them separate as well.

                                  2. Its really popular in my office.
                                    I tried it once and found it to be a very strange contrast-kind of like what happens at outdoor parties when everything is on one plate and your salad gets mixed up with your entree or side dish.

                                    1. I haven't had it since, but I had it in Rome about 7 years ago. It was at a small pizza place that had several different kinds of slices, not really much of a sit down place. I think about that pizza often. It was a regular slice of cheese pizza with some lightly dressed greens and tomatoes on top. It was kind of luke warm and the lettuce was still crunchy. There is also a local pizza chain in Seattle that offers pizza crust with salad on it. It's supposed to be really good.

                                      1. although not salad pizza, at a college i went to that had terrible cafeteria food, i would often make a salad and chop up a slice of pepperoni pizza with ranch dress and eat that. it was great, we always called it pizza salad. i could go for one right now actually. it only works with terrible pizza and slightly wilted greens haha.

                                        1. My friends and family all really enjoy a number of flatbreads I bake, which in many of the preparations, I guess, could be considered Salad Pizza.

                                          The dough I make for flatbread varies greatly depending on how much time I have to make the dough and what type of dough will best compliment the toppings I plan on using as well as the other food/drink options. I never use Neapolitan or NYC style pizza doughs when planning to top with salad because they sag when lifted and can be quite messy. A thin, crackery dough, or a homemade foccaccia are my favorites for this application.

                                          Then, all I do is prepare a salad of mixed greens, throw in some veggies like tomatoes (I like cherry), onions (prefer caramelized), peppers (usually roasted red), and whatnot. Then I make the vinaigrette and lightly coat the salad mixture with the dressing.

                                          After that, I spread the salad mixture (not too heavily) on top of the baked dough (after allowing it to cool a little), and shave some pecorino-romano, parmesan or asiago on top. Cut it up, and it's ready to serve.

                                          Whenever I do this type of flatbread (or salad pizza) it gets devoured.

                                          1. a pizza lightly sauced and with a little mozzarella, then topped with lightly dressed arugula, prodciutto and shaved parm is one of my all time favorite pizzas ever

                                            you'd never order it by the slice and it'd never be reheated... it's a small pizza that is made to order.... and it is delicious
                                            (much as piccola described)

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: cgarner

                                              I LOVE arugula on pizza too - I always order it as a topping when it's available.

                                              1. re: cgarner

                                                Yeah, it's definitely not made for leftovers. But there usually aren't any anyway. :)

                                              2. salad pizza = yuck

                                                1. It's not at all uncommon to eat salad with a piece of focaccia or some other kind of bread. This doesn't seem all that different to me. I've never seen it or heard of it before, but I'd certain try it if it appeared in front of me.

                                                  1. One of my family's favorite Trader Joe's products...bake pizza then top with arugula mixed with vinaigrette.

                                                    http://animmovablefeast.blogspot.com/...

                                                    1. An arugula pie, one with fresh baby spinach, or other "gourmet" pie topped sparingly with greens and appropriate cheeses or other complimentary ingredients such as balsamic reductions, dried fruits or nuts is very different from what is served as salad pizza.

                                                      Its cold iceberg, with carrots and tomatoes-usually without dressing-on top of a regular cheese pie-and some people love it. Just not me.

                                                      1. There used to be a pizza place in Puerto Morelos (Q. Roo, Mexico) that served a "pizza nucho", which was a pizza place's response to the Yucatecan snack panuchos. I don't recall the construction exactly, but IIRC the pizza dough was slathered with refried beans (in a panucho, a tortilla is puffed and split, then filled with a small quantity of refried beans), and topped with the chicken and maybe the pickled onions. I think there may have been a little cheese (not typical of a panucho, but, hey, this is pizza) and maybe some of the tomato-based red sauce often served with panuchos. After baking, the avocado slices and salad went on top. They used the Yucatecan version of spinach (Mayan spinach, chaya) for the salad. I think they served it with some appropriate habenero salsa. It was a tasty version of Italian-American/Mexican fusion. I miss it.