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Pizza Salad with Pepato Cheese

Pizza Salad with Pepato CheeseIndividual-sized pizza salads served on homemade herbed pizza crust garnished with shaved pepato cheese, a delicious hard cheese similar to asiago or Romano cheese, that's studded with cracked black peppercorns.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 whole heads garlic
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups Yukon gold or red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cups red onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
3 cups zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups gourmet salad greens
1 1/2 cups (4 1/2 ounces) grated Wisconsin Asiago cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
24 slices tomato (1/8 inch thick each)
4 ounces Proscuitto ham, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Pepato cheese, shaved

Herbed Pizza Dough:
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 110°F / 40°C to 45°C)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina (pasta flour)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Vegetable cooking spray
3 tablespoons cornmeal

Cooking Directions:

  1. Remove white papery skin from heads of garlic. (Do not peel or separate cloves). Wrap each head separately in foil. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 1 hour; let cool for 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp, discarding skins.
  2. In a food processor, place roasted garlic pulp, white wine vinegar, salt and white pepper; process until blended. Slowly add olive oil to processor; process until smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons garlic mixture; set aside. Pour remaining garlic mixture into a large bowl; set aside.
  3. In a large Ziploc bag, combine parsley, balsamic vinegar, thyme and minced garlic. Add potato, onion and zucchini; seal bag. Mix well; marinate for 1 hour.
  4. In a foil-lined jelly roll pan, arrange potato mixture in a single layer. Broil for 35 minutes, or until vegetables are browned, stirring every 10 minutes. Add potato mixture and salad greens to garlic mixture in bowl; toss well.
  5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Asiago cheese over each prepared pizza crust; sprinkle with pepper.
  6. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush crusts with reserved 2 tablespoons garlic mixture.
  7. Arrange 4 tomato slices on each crust; top each with Proscuitto, potato mixture and Pepato cheese. Serve at room temperature.
  8. For Herbed Pizza Dough: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in flour and next six ingredients; combine to form a semi-stiff dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 6 or 7 times. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in a warm place (85°F / 30°C) free from drafts, for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  9. Punch dough down; turn onto a floured surface. Divide dough into 6 equal portions; roll each into a very thin 8 inch circle. Place crusts on preheated pizza stones or large baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Top and bake according to previous recipe directions.

Makes 6 individual pizzas.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.