Truth be told, every now and then RoniCooks doesn’t feel much like cooking, and the choices become either (a) leftovers, (b) breakfast for dinner, (c) take-out Chinese or pizza, or (d) what we’re having tonight – DiGiorno Pizzas and my own Middle Eastern (aka Greek) salad.
It’s a Sunday night ritual for the four of us to watch our favorite dramatic series – anything from Downton Abbey to The Walking Dead and everything of quality in between – while dining on our tray tables in the TV room. Two rules of thumb – do not have ribs while watching The Walking Dead, and do not serve anything requiring undivided attention while watching anything. So when I do not feel like cooking, that makes pizza and salad a popular choice
Having survived the long Winter of our Discontent baking breads and making our own pizzas, I resorted one night last week to our standby takeout pizza from our town’s Greek-owned House of Pizza which we’ve patronized for over thirty years. Famous for their light, crispy crust, I was disheartened to have our one-topping (linguica) pizza so soggy and thin-crusted on the bottom that I swore I’d never order take-out from them again.
Tonight’s inspiration – “It’s not takeout, it’s DiGiorno.” OK, not quite, but in the vast realm of frozen supermarket pizzas, DiGiorno does offer up a selection of pizzas that are superior to most, and when combined with a homemade salad, can round out a meal that fills the ticket for watching tonight’s finale of The Walking Dead. I chose two – their rising crust “Supreme” with multiple meat and vegetable toppings, and their Sicilian thin-crust 4-meat variety, which will require a few minutes less in the oven.
The salad is something else, and more or less the star of the show with the pizza as a side dish:
RONI’S GREEK SALAD
This can be assembled early in the day and dressed just before serving. In fact, you can also toss together all ingredients except the greens, place the greens on top of your salad bowl, refrigerate, and toss together just before serving.
Salad should include a mixture of Romaine and spring mix, sliced or diced English cucumber, quartered grape tomatoes or Campari tomatoes cut into small chunks, thinly sliced red onion, pitted Kalamata olives, and crumbled or diced sheep’s milk feta.
Toss all salad components together in a large bowl and sprinkle generously with S&P, dried mint, and oregano. Toss again and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, drizzle salad with olive oil just to moisten, toss it, and then squeeze a good amount of lemon juice all over and toss again. Proportions of olive oil to lemon juice are different from the oil/vinegar ratio you’d have with a vinaigrette. Its more like 50/50 versus 66/34.
I have also had success tossing everything except the greens with the dressing in the serving bowl and then topping with the greens and refrigerating. Just before serving, toss it all again to get the greens dressed, and you’re done.
Easy. Delicious. And ready for Prime Time.