26 September 2011

Caesar Salad Pizza - PPQ

It's my turn to host Project Pastry Queen for the first time! It was hard to choose from the remaining recipes but I couldn't pass one up with pizza in the title. I also wanted to give it a try because I've never made Caesar dressing from scratch. 

There's one thing I've noticed about Rebecca Rather's recipes - they make more servings than suggested. I decided to halve the recipe for the crust and I should have done the same for the dressing because it made 20 oz. Even though half the recipe was supposed to make two 8" pizzas, the crusts were too thick for my liking and next time I would make three or four 8" pizzas out of half a recipe for thinner crusts. The crust was tasty, but would have been much better if I would have added the Parmesan cheese to the top before baking like the recipe called for. (oops!)

I used my food processor to make the dressing and it came together very quickly while the dough was rising. It was delicious, but since it made so much I might be having Caesar salad for lunch and dinner all week.

I added croutons & slices of a lemon pepper rotisserie chicken to the lettuce and tomato topping. I recommend the chicken if you want this to be a heartier meal, but skip the croutons - they were too much with the crust. One of the Chicken Caesar Salad Pizzas was enough for 2 of us. I will definitely make the full recipe the next time our whole family is home.

The recipe below is the full version from the Pastry Queen cookbook. (Take care if you use a pizza stone, it gets extremely hot!)

I'm looking forward to next week's recipe: Tuxedo Cake. A search for this cake online, when I had misplaced my PQ cookbook, is what led me to Project Pastry Queen. So happy I found this amazing group of bakers/bloggers! Be sure and check out the other members' version of this pizza here:

(Chicken) Caesar Salad Pizza
--- yield: Four 8-Inch Pizzas

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 2 (1-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing on crusts
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 4 to 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 anchovy fillet (optional)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten, or 1/2 cup pasteurized egg product
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and cut into 1 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, sliced (optional)
  • Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

To Make the Crust:

Combine the lukewarm water, yeast, olive oil, and honey in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 3 cups of the all purpose flour, salt, and crushed red pepper; mix on low speed. With the machine running, add 1 cup of the all purpose flour to make a soft dough. Mix the dough on low speed about 5 minutes longer, until smooth. Add up to 1 more cup of the all purpose flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 to 15 turns. Place in a large oiled bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes.

Generously coat 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Sprinkle the sheets with cornmeal. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. (If you have a pizza stone, use it instead of the baking sheets, preheating it along with the oven. No need to grease the stone, just sprinkle it with cornmeal just before you bake the pizzas.)

Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each piece into a ball, place the dough balls on a baking sheet, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Use immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 hours.

Using a floured rolling pin, flatten each dough ball into an 8-inch circle. Brush each dough round with olive oil and sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Transfer the crusts onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and crisp.

To Make the Dressing:

Press the garlic and anchovy into a paste in a mortar with a pestle. Scrape the paste into a medium bowl. Whisk in the eggs, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard, then slowly add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the dressing in a food processor, place the garlic, anchovy, eggs, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. With the processor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube in a thin, steady stream. Pour the dressing into a bowl, stir in the Parmesan cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Make the Salad:

Toss the lettuce and tomatoes with the dressing. Place a generous amount of salad on top of each warm pizza crust. If desired, layer sliced chicken on top of the salad. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve flat like a tostada.

Estimated  Time:  90 minutes 


  1. Your pizza does look very appetizing and your plate it is on is beautiful. Thanks for letting us know just how much this recipe, both for the pizza and the dressing make. Good to know :)

  2. I *love* this dressing! Thanks for picking such a great recipe!

  3. I love the plate you photographed this on. Gorgeous!


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