I swear to you, I was the biggest pizza fan that ever existed. It was our cheat meal almost every Friday night. About a year and a half ago, I realized that it wasn’t pizza that I loved, it was the flavors piled on top of the crust. There is no real flavor in the crust, it’s just a vehicle for the tastiness on top. I haven’t had a pizza, in the traditional, or even paleo-ified sense, since. So here you have it, instead of picking off the toppings during this year’s Super Bowl party you can eat an entire bowl full of ‘salad’.
- 1 7 oz. package of Applegate pepperoni slices, chopped or sliced*
- 2 bell peppers, choose your favorite color, chopped or sliced
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 6 oz mushrooms, sliced
- chili flakes, to taste
- olive oil
- black or green olives, roughly chopped
- banana peppers, roughly chopped
- fresh basil, torn with your hands into small pieces
- any other pizza-like topping you dig
For the Dressing
- 3 T pizza sauce
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c olive oil
Over medium-high heat, saute the pepperoni pieces until they’re crispy. Remove from the pan and let them hang out in your serving dish. Add some fat to your saute pan, along with peppers, onion, eggplant and mushrooms. Let all the ingredients sweat it out together, until they’ve softened and developed some caramelized-like color. Add the veggie mixture to your serving bowl, along with the chili flakes, olives, banana peppers and basil.
For the Dressing
Whisk all the ingredients together. Drizzle over the pizza salad and toss to combine. Serve the salad hot–though cold pizza salad is just as yum in the tum.
*I only mention this brand because it’s free of preservatives like sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, BHT, etc. Feel free to substitute (or add!) bacon, sausage or any ground meat.