Apr 7, 2016

California Salad Pizza with Avocado and Crispy Prosciutto

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
An East Coast style pizza topped with a fresh, healthy West Coast-style salad.

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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).

California Salad Pizza with Avocado and Crispy Prosciutto

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Avocado – 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. If the stem does not come off then it is not ready to eat and will probably still be hard. 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.
  • Pizza doughMy dough recipe here gives you a thin, crispy crust for this pizza. Your favorite pizza dough recipe or store-bought dough can easily be used in this recipe. Just be sure to let the dough rise before using in the pizza recipe.
  • Lettuce – I use a combination of romaine, butter lettuce and radicchio for the salad topping. The slightly bitter radicchio contrasts the crunch and subtle flavors of the crisp romaine and tender butter lettuce.
  • Prosciutto – Strips of thinly sliced prosciutto broiled until crispy on both side adds a salty and crunchy element to this pizza. What is prosciutto exactly? It’s made by curing the whole hind leg of a pig.

California salad pizza with avocado recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make California Salad Pizza

  • Make 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.
  • Let the dough rise and roll it out. Preheat oven to 500ºF 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 two equal sections. Roll out the first into a circle and place on a sheet of parchment paper. The circle should be about 10″.
  • Par bake the pizza crust. Drizzle olive oil over the pizza and add minced garlic. Rub the olive oil and garlic over the pizza from edge to edge. First, spread a handful of the onions over the pizza. Next, 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.
  • Add the cheese. Remove from the oven then sprinkle a cup of the mozzarella cheese over the pizza.
  • Finish baking the pizza. Return the pizza to the oven and continue to cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove the pizza from the oven and set aside.
  • Crisp the prosciutto. Heat oven to broil. Arrange slices of prosciutto on a baking sheet in an even single layer and broil until crispy.
  • Make the salad topping. In a large mixing bowl add the lettuce and toss with the lemon vinaigrette. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and Pecorino Romano, then toss to combine.
  • Top pizza with the salad. Use tongs to top the pizza with some of the salad mixture. Arrange sliced avocados all over the top followed by chives. Crumble half prosciutto over the top.
  • Repeat and serve. Repeat with the remaining pizza dough. Cut into equal slices and serve.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • The vinaigrette can be made ahead of time. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Use store-bought pizza as a shortcut.
  • To make this recipe without a pizza stone, add the pizza dough to a baking sheet. Since it won’t be as hot it made need a few additional minutes in the oven.
  • This recipe can also easily be made in a pizza oven or on the grill.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

California Salad Pizza with Avocado and Crispy Prosciutto

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Serves 2 (10-inch) pizzas

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 red onions
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 4 cups chopped lettuce of choice, I used combination romaine, butter lettuce and radicchio
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • ¼ cup freshly grated pecorino Romano
  • 1 medium Haas avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 4 slices Prosciutto

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 500ºF 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 two equal sections. Roll out the first into a 10" 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.
  • Heat oven to broil. Arrange slices of prosciutto on a baking sheet in an even single layer and broil until crispy, about 1 minute.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the lettuce and toss with 3 tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and Pecorino Romano, then toss to combine.
  • Use tongs to top the pizza with ½ of the salad mixture. Arrange sliced avocados all over the top followed by chives. Crumble half prosciutto over the top.
  • Repeat with the remaining pizza dough, so you have 2 salad-topped pizzas.

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