California Pizza Kitchen is going “vegetable-forward” with its summer menu, including a meat-free take on its Original BBQ Chicken Pizza.
The BBQ Heirloom Carrot Flatbread has most of the same ingredients as that signature menu item, according to a news release, except it’s made on flatbread and uses roasted carrots instead of chicken. It has the smoked Gouda, Parmesan cheese, charred red onions, cilantro, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing.
CPK’s website calls the flatbred “the evolution of a classic.” The chicken pizza made the chain famous when it was founded in 1985.
There’s more on the summer menu. It also includes:
Broccoli Sun-Dried Tomato Fusilli: A pasta dish that also includes fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil and thyme, sauteed in olive oil.
California Fields Salad: Made with watermelon, strawberries, field greens, feta, pistachios, and a housemade champagne vinaigrette.
Strawberry Shortcake: Fresh strawberries and whipped cream on a biscuit.
Sparkling Tropical Haven: Sparking wine and coconut rum with raspberry purée and pineapple juice.
Baja Sangria: Made with white wine, tequila, and pineapple juice.
Tropical Sangria: Made with red wine, coconut rum and lemonade.
Sparkling Watermelon-Lime: Watermelon-flavored Perrier with fresh mint and lime.
In pushing its vegetable-forward offerings, CPK is in line with what some food experts predicted would be a major trend of 2019, when plant-based entrees would find their way to the center of the plate.
CPK is big on cauliflower and began offering cauliflower crust as an option for its pizzas early last year. It serves Sticky Asian Cauliflower and Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower as alternatives to chicken.
So far, most of the restaurant action has been in meat alternatives, such as the Impossible and Beyond burgers. Although pizza chains such as Pieology and Little Caesars are starting to offer those kinds of toppings, spokesmen for CPK say the chain doesn’t have those options at this time.
Both beach cities CPKs are offering the new summer menu, including the carrot flatbread. Locations are at 3320 N. Sepulveda Blvd. in Manhattan Beach and 1815 Hawthorne Ave. in Redondo Beach.