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Easy Pizza Side Dishes

April 15, 2016 by | Comments Off on Easy Pizza Side Dishes

Granted, with the right combination of toppings—meats, seafood, veggies, even pineapple—pizza can seem like a square meal in itself. But try this on for a surprising idea: You can stretch a large pie even further and/or triple your dining pleasure by adding a few tasty side dishes into the mealtime mix. No need to complicate matters, though; even the simplest side dishes can serve as suitable complements to the pie.

Appetizers

appetizers

Whether you’ve got a homemade pizza in the oven, have sent a pal out to pick one up, or have called for a delivery, appetizers are an easy way to dress up the meal, not to mention a delicious way to while away the wait/cooking time and wake up your taste buds for the main event. The appetizers you offer can be as humble as roasted nuts, a platter of fresh veggies with dip, and/or a bowl of marinated olives.

If you really like to cook, of course, you might enjoy creating your own olive marinade—with orange zest and fresh basil, for example. You can opt for steamed mussels, or go all out with a dish like Clams Casino, a crispy broiled mix of fresh clams, bread crumbs, and bacon.

Salad

salad

Most of us agree nothing complements pizza quite like fresh, crispy greens, and your average garden salad—tomatoes, cucumber, croutons, onions, and carrots—is certainly a snap to toss together. But why not expend just a tiny bit more effort to kick your garden side dish up a notch by serving a succulent shrimp and arugula salad? Mix fresh, boiled, chilled shrimp with baby arugula and add a few sprigs of fresh parsley. Garnish with lemon wedges and top with preserved honey-lemon dressing for a refreshing, zesty treat!

Dessert

dessert

Sure, you can settle for a scoop of vanilla ice cream with sprinkles, but why would you, when there are so many other, more interesting sweets you can offer to wrap up pizza night?

As desserts go, it’s hard to beat mini fruit pizzas, round sugar cookies with a vanilla bean frosting “sauce.” Your toppings? Try kiwi, blueberries, and strawberries. Talk about fun—especially when you let the kids place the toppings—colorful, and delicious! You can also do a large, pizza-sized version by rolling the sugar cookie dough into a pizza pan.

Then again, you might want to cap your enhanced pizza night with a salted peanut tiramisu. Imagine the taste treat you’ll enjoy when you combine coffee flavors with creamy Italian mascarpone cheese, sweet lady fingers, and salty caramelized peanuts! This is a dessert you can—probably should, actually—make a day ahead of time, since a night in the fridge will only make a good thing better.

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