Many, many years ago, I had accepted a position as a hostess at California Pizza Kitchen, a large chain restaurant in Southern California. As part of the training, you are required to try some of the popular items on the item. I came in one morning to find four or five different dishes all for me to try – the fatty inside me was jumping with glee. Enduring the training program was almost more bearable because of this session. One of the dishes that laid before me was the Tricolore salad pizza. Unlike other pizzas, this one was topped with a large salad, making it almost, gasp, healthy! The thin crust was dusted with parmesan and baked until bubbly then topped with a fresh mesclun greens salad. It easily because my favorite item on the menu, until I discovered that it was discontinued! Much to my dismay, I was forced to recreate this dish at home. 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!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The trick to perfecting the Tricolore salad pizza is to master the crust. You want a thin, bubbly, airy pizza crust with just the right amount of parmesan.
After preparing the dough, let it rise until doubled in size. Proofing the dough will allow it to become airy when baked. If you’re having difficulty telling if your dough is ready, press lightly into the dough with your index finger. If an indentation remains, the dough is ready.
After working the dough and tucking in the sides, the top of the dough will be smooth while the bottom looks like so (picture below). Roll the dough into a ball to make it completely smooth then let it rest.
When rolling out the dough, refrain from using a rolling pin. Ever notice pizza makers at restaurants tossing the dough and stretching it by hand and not with the assistance of a rolling pin? That’s because using a rolling pin can deflate air bubbles which create a bubbly crust. I’m no expert and didn’t dare toss my dough in the air, but gentle stretching and pulling was 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. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted about 12 minutes. I had to rotate my crust halfway through to prevent one edge from darkening too much.
Top with the fresh salad, top with shaved Parmesan and dive in! I’ll admit, the crust from California Pizza Kitchen was slightly better, but the dish as a whole was a success! Craving satisfied.
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.