Meatless Mondays: The Oaks Gourmet Market's Recipe for Greek Salad Pizza
The idea seems straightforward, adding salad to pizza, but owner of The Oaks Gourmet Market Greg Morris discovered firsthand the kind of lettuce used in the recipe makes a bigger difference than one might think when he first attempted to add a salad pizza at his now shuttered Oakfire Pizza. "We tried doing it in the traditional way of putting a salad on top of a pizza -- just any salad you wanted -- and saw that it'd get kind of wilt-y. It didn't quite work over there, so we just kind of shelved the idea," he says.
The Oaks Gourmet Market Salad pizza
Recently Morris decided to revisit the idea at his gourmet market in Hollywood, due to increasing customer interest in foods that meet. "We've had so much response as far as people who have different styles of eating -- whether gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or lactose-intolerant."
"We've tried different combinations, but they didn't quite blend well together. I'm a big fan of our Greek salad. We took that as a base and played around with that. We found that romaine lettuce worked a little better when the pizza's hot right out of the oven."
It took a week for Morris and his team to home in on a recipe that'd meet the standards of the self-professed pizza freak. "I've eaten it since I was a child. My parents would used tell me the story all the time about how they found out my mom was pregnant with me. At the time, they were living in Italy. One day while they were at the beach, my mom ate about 20 pizzettes sold from a cart, which to say the least was a big clue for my dad. I like to say that pizza's in my veins."
They tried various gluten-free doughs from different purveyors before finding the right one that bakes what Morris describes as "almost like a cracker bread." The pizza is now the number two best-selling item on the new menu item, debuting roughly two weeks ago.
"Nothing is pre-made. We do everything at the time. When people place an order, that's when we stretch the dough," says Morris.
Whereas the goal is to appease customer demand, Morris keeps a particular standard in mind when he looks into adding new items to the menu. "My wife's a vegetarian; she's an inspiration for a lot of the vegetarian dishes that we do on the menu. I tried to take that into the context of comfort food." When we asked, Morris named Veggie Grill and Crossroads as two restaurants that have done well in introducing better vegetarian fare.
Morris gave us the recipe for the Greek salad pizza, which includes a gluten-free pizza crust recipe.
Turn the page for the recipe...