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!
**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 a 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!
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.