Add Charcuterie To Frozen Pizza For Bonus Flavor And Heat Protection

Whether you like to call them "cold cuts" or "charcuterie," cured meats are a delicious and protein-filled snack that can get you through the day. From spicy peppered salami to creamy mortadella, these thinly sliced tidbits of deliciousness come in as many varieties as there are types of cheese, which they are often paired with to create platters for social gatherings. They make perfect bite-sized snacks while sipping cocktails. 

While these meats are fantastic when piled on a cracker, stuffed inside a sandwich, or even on their own, there are many other uses for charcuterie. And one of the ways to harness its salty deliciousness to create a substantial meal is to pair it with frozen pizza. Not only would charcuterie give a savory flavor boost to the pie, elevating the otherwise quick but bland meal, but it would also keep your mouth from being scalded by the hot pizza toppings.

Pairing pizza with charcuterie

Like composing a charcuterie board, pairing charcuterie with frozen pizza is all about creating the right flavor combinations. Thin-crust pizzas are ideal since it provides a crispy and chewy texture that complements the texture of cured meats. Pies without meat toppings are preferred because you are adding (arguably) more expensive cured meats, and you want the flavor of the charcuterie to shine. On the other hand, cheesy frozen pizzas are an ideal pairing, both with or without tomato sauce. For health-conscious people, vegetable-topped pies are great for charcuterie, especially mushrooms and spinach. Frozen pizza crusts can be used with a drizzle of olive oil. Alternative crusts such as cauliflower are suitable, too, as long as they are thin.

Once you have the pie, it is time to consider the kind of charcuterie to pair it with. Tomato-sauced pies pair well with stronger, spicier flavors, such as soppressata, pepper-coated salami, Spanish chorizo, and 'nduja, an Italian spicy soft cured pork spread akin to a spreadable pepperoni. Meanwhile, pies without tomato sauce can benefit from milder cured meats, such as bresaola, prosciutto, Jamón ibérico, and Jambon de Paris, a type of mild flavored French ham. Drape the meats on your pizza as soon as it leaves the oven, so their fat can melt a bit on the hot surface, and enjoy.

Add more toppings to your frozen pizza

Since we are on the subject of dressing up a frozen pizza, why not add more to the mix? For example, after you drape the charcuterie over the pizza, pile some salad greens that have been dressed simply with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil on top. The salad, meat and pizza combination would not only be (comparatively) healthier, but the greens would also impart some freshness to the pie. If you do not have fresh salad greens at home, brined or pickled vegetables such as a jardinière or artichoke hearts will also do the trick.

And if you are out of frozen pizza, charcuterie can be used in other ways to fill out a meal with protein. Boil short pasta — such as penne — as instructed, and drain. Place the pot back onto the stove, and add olive oil, chopped garlic, and cut up strips of charcuterie. Sauté on medium heat until some fat has been rendered out of the meats, add the pasta, and toss together alongside any vegetables you have in the fridge. Season with ground black pepper and other seasonings and enjoy.