By far, my greatest discovery at Trader Joe’s has been their fresh pizza dough. I know it’s not a super challenging task to make pizza dough, but when you’re teetering back and forth over whether to make your pizza at home or order out, that fresh, refrigerated dough from TJ’s is usually the straw that tips the scales in the favor of a homemade dinner. And truly, I’m always so happy that it did. Ok, obviously it requires more energy than dialing up pizza joint, but I get to control exactly the quality and quantity of ingredients on my pie. And tonight, those toppings included a salad.
This isn’t really a recipe, more of a concept. Build your pizza how you like. Tonight ours was pretty straightforward. After slowly shaping the dough, I started with some good ol’ TJ’s pizza sauce from a jar. Topped it with a tasty layer of really good parm cheese for flavor. Then some sauteed mushrooms (browning them up ahead of time prevents excess water from leaking out into your pie) and chopped marinated artichoke hearts. These were followed by a serious layer of pepperoni and a generous sprinkle of low-fat mozzarella cheese (which I find makes the pizza less greasy). Dust it all with some red pepper flakes and dried oregano and into the oven it goes! Whoops, forgot to paint the crust edge with some olive oil. Oh well, next time.
While the pizza is baking, whisk together about 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and an equal part of extra virgin olive oil. Toss 3-4 cups of loosely packed baby arugula and then stare into the oven, waiting for the pizza to reach its golden brown and bubbly state of perfection.
When the pizza is ready to serve, quickly slice into portions and then top with the mound of zesty arugula. Then finish it with a nice grating of good parm and some fresh cracked pepper for good measure. Talk about some yum.
Seriously, why eat a salad on the side? The crisp, bright and zippy greens are such a beautiful compliment to the rich, chewy pizza. Also, forks on pizza night are for chumps.
Alas, the Oscar’s sadly turned out to be a huge bore, but the evening was redeemed by dinner!