Salad Pizza with Lemon and Lox Recipe

Fresh meals are realistic options for busy nights when frozen dough comes to the rescue. And pizza can take many forms beyond the traditional red sauce and mozzarella version. This salad pizza is a hybrid, says Twin Cities chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, who created this recipe for Real Food. It’s as if you combined your first course salad and pizza into one dish. It’s a lively contrast of textures and flavors—a chewy, warm flatbread is topped with fresh lettuces, bathed in zippy lemon vinaigrette, and studded with smoky lox. It’s a little messy to eat, but so worth it, says Asbell.

For a quick-and-easy crust, this recipe uses frozen roll dough—which comes in two sizes: dinner roll (11/4 ounces each) or Texas roll (2 ounces each). You can press these together to make any size pizza. This makes it easy to keep some on hand in the freezer and count out as much dough as you need. The small pieces thaw in the refrigerator within eight hours if you want to transfer to the fridge in the morning, and for the in-the-moment cook, the dough thaws in less than an hour at room temperature. You can take the dough out of the refrigerator, warm up the oven and prepare your toppings and fillings while it thaws, and enjoy homemade pizza in the time you might wait for delivery. 

Salad Pizza with Lemon and Lox

Makes 2 servings

6 (2-ounce) whole-wheat roll dough balls or 10 (11/4 ounce) traditional rolls
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus 2 teaspoons for pan and topping
1/4 small yellow onion, slivered
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, divided
2 ounces (4 cups) baby romaine
1 large tomato
4 tablespoons crème fraîche, lightly salted
2 ounces lox or smoked salmon
fresh dill, torn

1. Remove dough balls from freezer and thaw about 1 hour at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about 8 hours before baking.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

3. Spread 1 teaspoon olive oil on a pizza pan or large sheet pan. (You can also use a pizza stone and peel.)

4. On a lightly oiled counter, press the dough balls together to form a disk, and flatten with your fingertips. Let rest for 5 minutes if the dough is stiff and resists when you press it. Shape the dough to make a 12-inch round. Transfer to the pizza pan or sheet pan (or spread cornmeal on your pizza peel and place the dough there.) Top with onion slivers and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil.

5. Bake the pizza crust for 13 to 15 minutes, just until golden and puffed. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes.

6. In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest, juice, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the baby romaine and tomato and toss to coat.

7. Stir the remaining salt and pepper into the crème fraîche and spread on the warm crust. Top with lox and salad, sprinkle with fresh dill, cut in quarters, and serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes: 
• Thaw dough in a lightly oiled container, covered, so the top of the dough balls will not dry out.
• When shaping the dough for pizza, you can start pressing it into a disk as soon as the dough is soft, then let it rise for a few minutes after it is shaped.
• When working with roll dough, press it out until the dough starts to resist, then let it rest for a few minutes. The dough will relax and be easy to stretch again. 

Hungry for More? If a mushroom and sausage stuffed-crust, deep-dish pie—the kind New Yorkers may refuse to call “pizza”—sounds good, check out Asbell’s recipe for that variation also made with frozen roll dough in my post here.

For more pizza amore, check out the delicious options ready for you to try at Slice of the Twin Cities this Sunday, Oct. 21 from 1-5 p.m. Find more info here.

Nutrition info (per serving): CALORIES 596 (211 from fat); FAT 24g (sat. 6g); CHOL 21mg; SODIUM 1748mg; CARB 71g; FIBER 11g; PROTEIN 26g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.