Caesar Pizza

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I hope that everyone has had a great first week of 2012! It was definitely hard to get back in the swing of things for me, but I think next week things will be back to normal. To end the week, I have a great recipe for you to try! :)

I’m sure I know the answer to this first question, but I’ll ask it anyway: Do you like pizza? If so, do you like Caesar salad as well? This meal is the perfect hybrid of two favorite dishes. It’s a chewy pizza crust base covered in Parmesan cheese. Then you top the crust with a Caesar salad complete with creamy homemade dressing. You could add some grilled chicken for topping if you’re looking for a little extra protein.

Caesar Pizzas (serves 4)

for the crust:
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 (.25 oz) packets of active dry yeast
2 Tbs olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tsp honey
4 to 5 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine the lukewarm water, yeast, olive oil and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add 3 cups of flour, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix on low speed until combined. With the mixer still running, slowly add an additional cup of flour to make a soft dough. Continue to knead on low speed for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as need so it does not stick to the side of the bowl. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rest for 45 minutes.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Divide dough into quarters. Cover dough balls with a damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 450F.

Using a floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into an 8-inch circle, placing 2 on each baking sheet. Brush each piece of dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle each with a 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.

While the crust is cooking, prepare the dressing below.

for the dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 anchovy filet
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Place garlic, anchovy, eggs, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard in a food processor. Process until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the mixture through the feeding tube. Remove the blade and stir in Parmesan cheese.

for the salad:
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups of croutons
shaved Parmesan, for topping

Toss together romaine, tomatoes and croutons in a large bowl. Add desired amount of dressing and toss to combine. You can save the remainder of the dressing for up to a week in the fridge. Place 1/4 of the salad on each warm pizza crust and top with Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Recipe from The Pastry Queen

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