Many years ago, I worked as a hostess at California Pizza Kitchen, a large chain restaurant in Southern California. Part of the training requires you to taste some of the most popular menu items. This was clearly my favorite part. I had some of the dishes before but one that was unfamiliar was the Tricolore salad pizza. This pizza was exactly as the name hinted, a salad pizza. The thin crust was dusted with parmesan, baked until bubbly then topped with a fresh mesclun greens salad. It easily became my favorite item on the menu. I recently tried to order this pizza when I discovered that it was discontinued! Alas, I had no choice but to make it myself. The bright side? Now that I've discovered how to make it, I can have my copycat CPK's Tricolore salad pizza whenever I want!
Copycat CPK's Tricolore Salad Pizza
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¾ cup warm water 100 to 110 degrees F
- 2 cups bread flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 oz shaved Parmesan
- salt and pepper
- Combine 1 teaspoon yeast with 1 teaspoon honey and ¾ cup warm water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until yeast is activated and bubbly.
- In a separate large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour with ½ teaspoon salt. Add yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon oil and mix until the dough comes together. Transfer to a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Flip a baking sheet upside down and heat in the oven for 10 minutes. Alternatively, preheat a pizza stone.
- Lightly dust a parchment paper with flour. Divide the dough into two balls. Gently roll out the first portion with your hands into a 10-inch circle. Mix 1 tablespoon water with 1 tablespoon sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Brush evenly on the crust and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the entire dough. Carefully transfer the dough to the preheated baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Blend 1 clove garlic with 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar. Slowly add ½ cup oil in a steady stream until dressing is thick and well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss arugula, thinly sliced shallots, and cherry tomatoes with dressing. Remove crust from oven and top with the salad. Finish with shaved Parmesan. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The trick to perfecting the Tricolore salad pizza is to master the crust. You want a bubbly, airy pizza crust with just the right amount of parmesan and a hint of sweetness.
Make the dough using bread flour, honey, active dry yeast, water, salt, and oil. Knead until the dough is smooth and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Proofing the dough will allow it to become airy when baked. If your kitchen is particularly cold, it may take longer than 1 hour.
Once you're ready to bake the pizza, roll out the dough into a large 14-inch circle using your hands. Ever notice pizza makers at restaurants tossing and stretching the dough by hand and not with a rolling pin? That's because using a rolling pin can deflate air bubbles which help create the bubbly crust. I'm no expert and didn't dare toss my dough in the air, but gentle stretching and pulling were effective enough to create a crust.
Brush the crust with the sugar water mixture and sprinkle the grated cheese.
If you have a pizza stone, this would be the time to use it! If not, flip a baking sheet over and heat in the 500-degree oven for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and transfer the crust to the baking sheet. I found the easiest way to do this is to roll out the pizza on parchment paper. Then just transfer the entire paper to the baking sheet when ready to bake.
While the pizza is baking, toss your salad together. Top the freshly baked parmesan crust with the salad and top with shaved parmesan. I know this pizza is large enough to serve 4 people but because it's so light, it can easily be devoured by 2. Sprinkle some freshly cracked black pepper on top and get ready to fall in love with salad pizza!
For more pizza inspiration check out this yellow margherita pizza!