California salad pizza

California Salad Pizza

Before you think that I am ruining the sanctity of pizza, hear me out. This it is a hybrid pizza and salad creation that is basically a mix of East Coast and West Coast. An East Coast style pizza topped with a fresh, healthy West Coast-style salad. The lettuce is tossed in a light lemon olive oil dressing and scattered on a white pizza loaded with mozzarella cheese. Ripe, creamy avocados are scattered generously on top for a pizza that is fresh and somewhat healthy (but still loaded with cheese).

The key to this salad topped pizza is to find perfectly ripe avocados. One tip for finding that fresh avocado is to look under the stem; if it is green then the avocado is ripe and ready to eat, if it is brown then it is overripe and if the stem does not come off then it is not ready to eat and will probably still be hard. If you need to get an avocado to ripen more quickly, put it in a brown paper bag and roll the top to close, or remove the stem.  

 

Ingredients:

For the lemon vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

 

For the pizza:

1 recipe Homemade Pizza Dough

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup thinly sliced yellow onions

3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

9 ounces romaine lettuce, chopped (about 4 cups chopped)

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

½ cup diced cucumber

1/3 cup Feta cheese

2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced

 

pizza stone (or baking sheet)

parchment paper, as needed, for cooking

pizza peel (optional)

 

Instructions: 

For the lemon vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard and sugar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil in a steady stream until an emulsion is formed. Season with salt and pepper. The vinaigrette can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

For the pizza:

Preheat oven to 500º with pizza stone set on a middle rack. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal sections. Roll out the first into a circle and place on a sheet of parchment paper.  

Drizzle two tablespoons of the olive oil over the pizza and 1 clove of the minced garlic. Rub the olive oil and garlic over the pizza from edge to edge. Spread a handful of the onions over the pizza. Slide the pizza crust on the parchment paper onto pizza peel and use it to move the pizza to the pizza stone.

Bake the crust for 5 minutes until the edges start to lightly brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle a cup of the mozzarella cheese over the pizza. Return the pizza to the pizza stone and continue to cook for another 7 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Remove the pizza from the oven and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add the lettuce and toss with 3 tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and feta, then toss to combine. Use tongs to top the pizza with 1/3 of the salad mixture. Arrange sliced avocados all over the top. Repeat with the remaining pizza dough, so you have three salad-topped pizzas.

 

Makes 3 (8-inch) pizzas.

fresh california salad pizza
closeup homemade salad pizza

 

If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photo #cwcr - I love getting to see what you make!

 

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