Tag Archives: pizza

pizza: it’s what’s for dinner

Let’s get in the mood with a scene from a beloved childhood film. In this clip from Back to the Future II, we glipse at the McFly family in the Future: the year 2015. Ha!

I am impressed the writers in 1987 foresaw caller ID. Still waiting on Black & Decker to release The Hydrator.

Yes, it’s a cherished dish since I was born in the 1980s when Mom, Dad, Jason and I would lay the picnic blanket on the family room floor to watch TGIF around a piping hot pizza box. Even on a scorching summer night, 26 years later, pizza is still the ultimate end-the-week dinner. Now that I’ve wrapped up nutrition classes, it seems an apt time to talk about up-ing the nutrient value of our favorite foods. Let’s start perfecting the pie.

OVERLOAD

Carry-out pizza, despite the presence of carbs, veggies, dairy and in one serving, can be nutritionally void and calorically perilous. Fat and salt reign. The sodium overload in the sauce, pepperoni, and cheese cancels out much hope of absorbing calcium. Pizza also often lacks fiber so crucial to our diet; I found a way to include it in my version, with a flavor just as appealing.

RETHINK PIZZA

What do we love about pizza? The crust’s crunch, rich tomato flavor, the alluring salty cheese? Here’s just one way to enjoy this essence without sacrificing our heart’s health. Using an appropriate portion of salty cheese provides ample cheesiness and significantly decreases the saturated fat. I added toppings high in vitamins, low in calories—then baked it to that golden brown we all adore.

Heart-Healthy Pizza

A  Friday Night Linvention

1 cup baby spinach leaves (use arugula for peppery kick)

1 cup mixed basil and mint leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bell pepper, sliced thin

½ cup shaved parmesan cheese (pecorino, romano, asiago are all great options)

1 prepared pizza crust (mine was only about 9 inches diameter; whole wheat is a great choice)

budget tip: purchase a wedge of romano or asiago cheese and shave with a vegetable peeler. this can be several dollars less than pre-shredded parmesan.

Note the sodium per serving size on this Trader Joes’ pizza crust! It would have been all too easy to eat this entire pie. It’s not just about fat: it’s about the whole picture.

Preheat the oven to 450F.

In a food processor (a 2-cup machine is sufficient), puree the spinach and herbs with 2 tbsp olive oil. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop all of greens and stir into the olive oil. A traditional pesto with nuts and cheese would add much more fat than I desired here.

Spread the pesto over the crust. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on the sauce along with the peppers. Sprinkle a pinch of kosher or sea salt over the tomatoes—this will help them roast in the oven. Scatter the cheese in between the tomatoes and peppers, leaving the tomatoes exposed.

Bake directly on the rack according to the crust’s package directions, or until the cheese browns. I place a large baking sheet beneath the pizza to catch any dripping oil or cheese as it bakes. Cool slightly before cutting; I prefer a long knife instead of a pizza wheel.

Other ideas:

Rather than high-sodium pizza sauce, top your crust with thin slices of salted beefsteak tomatoes (and herbs if you like) and bake until the tomatoes begin to dry out. Top with ½ cup of salty cheese, and the veggies/meat of your choosing and bake until brown. Of course, the tricky part is not eating the whole pie! Serve with a salad and munch on fruit or nuts before dinner. Eating a salad (tossed with peaches or berries) while our pizza is in the oven helps with smaller portions.

Pizza is a favorite is our home, and we’re always playing around with new ways to make it memorable in our own kitchen. Find more pizza inspirations here and recent medical news on life-saving fiber from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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as seen on tv

Television I adore: Frasier, Monk, I Love Lucy, Arrested Development—anyone sensing an off-air theme here? I mention this little trivia because Pear readers love to discuss reality cooking shows, and I’m saying it again: I simply don’t watch them. Remember when I judged Iron Chef? I’m not competitive in nature, whether we’re talking about my flute playing or putt-putt game. I don’t watch much food tv anyhow, with our new condo kitchen far from living room viewing potential, and I prefer to spend my time in there. Listening to LPs.

Back in the day, when we lived in our apartment (you know, two months ago), I would come home from work, throw on my apron, and saute simultaneously with Ina. My routine has changed, but one particular television recipe stuck in my mental taste buds all this time. So I finally attempted Claire Robinson’s White Pizza.

“Attempted” is a joke, because a first grader could create this 5-ingredient wonder with equal success.

And Andrew had a cow it was so good—not one complaint over the lack of pepperoni.

This would be a smashing appetizer. Add it to the repertoire, folks. Fab.u.lous.

Easiest White Pizza

God Bless You, Claire Robinson, serves 4

garlic-flavored olive oil

1 lb. ball pizza dough, thawed

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup whole milk ricotta

2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves, more for garnish

Never a fan of fresh oregano, I insist you try it in this context. This is how oregano was meant to be enjoyed. If your mother-in-law’s wild oregano bush is not so close by, you’ll just have to grab one of those fresh herb packs in the salad section. Trust me. Do not skip the oregano.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven.

Brush the pizza pan/pizza stone with oil. (Homemade garlic oil: heat several crushed cloves of garlic in oil over low heat  until fragrant). 

On a work surface, using your hands (or, who are we kidding, a rolling pin), press the pizza dough into a large flat disk and transfer it to the greased pan. Using your fingers, press the dough out until it has stretched to the perimeter of the pan. Create a dough “lip” around the outer edges of the pan. Brush the entire surface of the dough lightly with garlic oil and pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, to prevent bubbling.

Evenly spread the mozzarella over the crust. Using 2 spoons, dollop teaspoon-sized mounds of ricotta evenly over the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and evenly sprinkle the chopped oregano over the top.

Bake in the lower third of the oven until the crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly and browning on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before garnishing with additional oregano—serious about this—and slicing into 8 pieces.

I served this with a very simple salad of romaine and dried figs. Drizzle lightly with equal parts balsamic vinegar and agave nectar whisked together. One of those unexpected Linventions that complemented this light meal. It might sound dainty (and risky for a pepperoni-loving spouse), but Andrew returned for thirds.

What’s your favorite pizza topping?

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quesapizza!

Thin-crust pizza in 20 yummy minutes

Here in our little apartment, Andrew and I are onto the Official Spring Break countdown (and getting a little hyper). With vacation now barely three days away, we’re getting creative with fridge findings. This is the first of a few posts on deliciously do-able weeknight eatings (with uncomplicated ingredients)…

inspired by Fresh Flavor Fast

For thin, crispy and remotely healthy pizza, all you need:

  • whole-wheat tortilla or sandwich wraps
  • olive oil
  • ricotta cheese (low-fat scores you extra points)
  • veggie or meat tidbits

Preheat the oven to 450F. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on both sides of the tortilla and place on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper for a no-mess ending to your night). Sprinkle a very light layer of shredded or grated cheese–mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, your favorite. Spoon a few small dollops of ricotta spaced across the pizza.

Simply top with just a few pieces of your on-hand toppings: very thin slices of onions, veggies, or meat. For the veggies to soften and brown, I brushed on a little olive oil.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown. Don’t be too alarmed about the crust darkening, the whole pizza needs time to develop fabulous crunch. Cool for about two minutes and cut into quarters with a large chef’s knife.

It’s hard to imagine the true transformation of this floppy wrap into a crispy flavor-packed pizzeria treat. The whole-wheat may sound unappealing or maybe overpowering, but its heartiness brings something truly special.

A little salad? A little wine? One large [quesa]pizza is a perfect serving size, and surprisingly substantial with whole grains. The ricotta spreads across the crust in creamy guilt-free decadence. A cheesy treat that’s a healthy, quick alternative to frozen pizza on those tiring nights.

Topped with ricotta and mushrooms: 305 calories,  14 g of fat, 15 g protein, 33  g carbs, 4 g fiber. Take those little stats to the freezer aisle and delight in your homemade wonder!

If you’re enamoured with the speedy simplicity of this pizza, but seek something more crowd-friendly, check out my lavash pizza here!

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loving your leftovers: is it fry day yet?

Thank you, thank you readers!In its brief existence, A Pear to Remember reached over 6,000 viewers. 6,201 today! How do I express my gratitude? How about something interesting for the goods in your fridge?

in our fridge/freezer:

4 chicken tenderloins (from this meal)

romaine hearts

half a medium eggplant (from this meal)

3/4 jar tomato sauce

a hunk of fresh mozzarella

3 eggs

Don’t feel too bad for us, we’ve got orange juice and yogurt and sandwich makings, but these were most promising for a last-minute dinner. A really scrumptious undertaking for any night of the week…

tomato sauce has a short fridge life. andrew made us a special whole-wheat pizza on Monday night, but what to do with leftover sauce? read on.

 

 

Eggplant Medallions Over Grilled Romaine Hearts

a Thursday night Linvention

Finally, finally—do-able frying! I used to really complicate the batter and bread process, make a mess all over the place, and take a good 40 minutes from slicing to frying. Forget that.

It’s all about a line up—not far off from mise en place, which is about having all your ingredients measured and in place before beginning your recipe. This is a dip-n-drip station where tongs are your best friend. I used to do this by hand and the caked mixture all over your fingernails really slows you down.

Grab your slices (1/4 inch thin) with the tongs, dip in egg (2 eggs with a wee bit of salt and pepper beaten in) followed by breadcrumbs (this time from a can, lots of Italian seasoning sprinkled in). Then right into the skillet with hot oil—not too hot, it will burn right up and spatter all over the place. And not too deep, my slices were a breadcrumb away from submersion and cooked perfectly. About 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your pieces—just keep the width uniform. I made good use of my cheap-o mandolin here.

Set your golden goodies on a plate packed with paper towels and chug right along until you’ve fried all of your ingredients (zucchini, anyone?).

Now I had heard of grilling romaine lettuce, I thought it was as bizarre as you are thinking now; I had never seen it done. But darn it all, I want any excuse to grill.

I spritzed whole romaine leaves with a healthy sheen of olive oil, followed by a generous sprinkle of coarse salt and pepper—this made all the difference. After grilling both sides over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes, you’ve got a new lettuce experience. As in, lettuce forget about that side of pasta, okay? A rare mood to reject pasta, but this proved the perfect bedding for my fried friends. With a little tomato sauce drizzled over the entire thing and cold, cold mozzarella torn in big pieces alongside… yes! yes! 

If loving warm lettuce is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

The romaine is salty and flavor-packed in a way some rarely know lettuce to be. Serve it warm and enjoy the smokey flavor with the eggplant. I love homemade breaded eggplant because it makes this luscious aubergine into a filling meal I know you’ll love, too.

How did Andrew use his chicken? Check out his chicken parmesan technique here.

Also a good day all around—sometimes haircuts are as refreshing as new flavors.

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the world may not be flat, but this pizza sure is

Oh, hello. Did you come here looking for another super fast, ridiculously easy weeknight dinner? Well, twist my arm why don’t you.

I completely forgot to tell you about this Lavash Pizza I made two weeks ago. Lavash is a soft, thin flatbread that is becoming easier to find nowadays at the grocery store. The bread is common in Iran, Armenia, and Georgia—and thankfully at Trader Joes and Whole Foods! Lavash is made simply of flour, water, and salt—it’s fat-free and low in sodium, so what better inspiration for a lunchtime wrap or evening pizza?

For quick pizza, brush a light layer of olive oil on each side of the lavash. Place on a cookie sheet under the broiler for just three minutes or so on each side, until it starts to brown.

Then simply top with your favorite ingredients! The crust is so crunchy and thin, it doesn’t really require sauce. I layered tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers—which I sautéed first—and a sprinkling of shredded cheddar. 10 minutes on 450F until the cheese is nice and melted, and you’re ready for dinner.

No time for weeknight cooking? I know for me it is more often a lack of energy. Lindsey’s Lavash Weeknight Pizza meets all requirements for lickety-quick delicious.

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hard work is the yeast that raises the dough

Let’s talk about pizza. Because pizza is awesome.

When it comes to both dough and recipes, I want something foolproof—because I’ve been known to mess up some recipes really, really bad. Purple Chicken, Banana Molasses, Banana Flatbread, to name a few. All unintentional, all disgusting. (Except the Purple Chicken, which Andrew said had a pleasant resemblance to masala).

So when my mom asked Andrew and I to make pizza for all of our Memorial Day guests, I wanted something guaranteed. I’m not wholeheartedly aboard the Food Network train, but I never limit myself on a good recipe hunt.  

On Foodnetwork.com, 128 cooks gave Tyler Florence’s pizza dough recipe a 5-star rating, not to mention an abundance of praise and helpful tips. I figured if that many cooks had consistent success, it was worth trying. My adaptation follows (though I doubled this recipe for 6 thin-crust, 12″ pizzas): 

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Let me say one thing about salt: be SURE to use kosher salt for this recipe. 1 tablespoon of KOSHER salt is just right for this recipe. However, 1 tablespoon of table salt or sea salt will leave you parched for days. Trust me on this one. Use far less if substituting another salt. 

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.  

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. 

When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it’s crumbly, add more water; if it’s sticky, add more flour – 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes. 

after 5 minutes

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it’s smooth and elastic. 

see how smooth?

  

Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat. 

Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e. a slightly warm oven) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 

 

Once the dough is domed and spongy (around 1 hour), turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide (cut, don’t pull) into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out. 

 

At this point, you can either use all of the dough or (as I absolutely recommended) make enough to freeze for a night when you don’t have so much time on your hands. You can read here about the flatbread I made with this dough. Keep them in 7-9″ discs for quicker countertop defrosting down the road, and less rolling time later.

 Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12″ circle, about 1/8-inch thick.

Andrew and I just roll and assemble pizza directly on the pizza stone. Yes, it should be pre-heated, but we haven’t mastered our pizza peel enough to transfer a heavy pizza dough to a hot stone. It worked just fine, and still got crispy. If you don’t have a pizza stone, no worries! Our FAVORITE pizza of the night was the little guy who got stranded on an upside-down cookie sheet/roasting pan. 

Dust your pizza stone lightly with flour. Or, if using the back of a shiny cookie sheet (the flat surface is best), lightly rub oil all over the surface. Place your pizza dough disc on to your baking surface and roll out until very thin. Now, this dough is divine and you can certainly roll to preferred thickness, but you will absolutely not get 3 pizzas out of this dough if it’s more than 1/8″ thick. 

my man at work

For a traditional tomato sauce pizza, Andrew and I love Emeril’s Kicked-Up Tomato Sauce. It’s usually easiest to find at Giant. We didn’t have any for this round of pizzas (four to be exact), but the Barilla my mom had on hand was still great. Andrew (my in-house pizza expert) recommends spreading the sauce over the dough until it is fully covered, keeping the layer thin. If you are making this crust truly thin as well, avoid topping it too heavily. We like using rubber spatulas to spread the sauce. 

We have also found that topping the pizza with both shredded mozzarella and mild cheddar cheese gives the best flavor—of course you don’t want to go too heavily with either. After much experimenting with all the shredded cheese brands around, we really love the texture and flavor of Nature’s Promise Organic Mozzarella and Nature’s Promise Organic Mild Cheddar.  

Because we were cooking for a crowd, we kept our toppings more traditional than our preferred experiments at home: pepperoni, cheese and peppadew, mushroom, and eggplant. Because this very thin dough cooks quickly, I didn’t want to top my vegetarian pizza with thick slices of raw veggies. I diced my mushrooms and sliced the eggplant a little less than 1/4″ thick, brushing lightly with olive oil. Partially covering my veggies with cheese prevented burning and allowed them to cook just perfectly. Sometimes we also sprinkle oregano or Italian seasoning over all the toppings. 

Bake for about 10-13 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. We like to use a very hot oven to recreate pizzeria pizza as best we can at home. We baked our pizzas about 475 F and rotated them in the oven since we had three baking at a time. 

It’s true, homemade pizza is a bit of work. Though Andrew has confidently made pizza dough by hand for years now, a food processor or stand mixer really takes the mess (not to mention armwork) out of the job. The dough freezes and thaws so beautifully, it’s worth having fun with a big batch on a day when you have time to play in the kitchen. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

see how beautifully thin and crisp?

 

Click here to head over to the original recipe from Food Network. Many cooks have left helpful feedback about substitutions and techniques. Do use the bread flour, it is finer than all-purpose and makes a world of difference in homemade pizza dough. Make it yours and have fun!

 

 

 

happy Father’s day!!

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summer supper

 
it’s Tuesday, and we’re sadly back from the boardwalk… onto the working week.

I sincerely hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend. I have lots to tell you about our vacation to the beach (to visit the folks)—involving all kinds of delicious, delicious food. Andrew and I spent quality time with parents, cousins, “Uncle Buck”, friends, and my brand-new cousin Ruby Ta.

Beyond memories, we returned home with an abundance of leftovers and ingredients I’d lugged to the Eastern Shore: shredded cheese, bread flour, tomatoes, etc.

On Saturday, Andrew and I baked four fantastic homemade pizzas. I can’t wait to tell you about this dough recipe, you must make it! I froze two additional dough discs, unbaked, to create something yummy at home. Last night, we returned to our apartment near 1am, and it was 87 degrees in our home. Today’s weather was no help—you can imagine I wasn’t in the mood for a piping hot dinner. But that dough in the freezer was too delicious to pass up for something quick. 

Oh, and did I mention my parents sent me some homemade olive oil from their trip to Italy?

Yes, it finally arrived, 100% Italiano, made in the home of a winemaker my folks met. Well, I couldn’t just bring home this beautiful bottle of oil, this delicious dough, and pass up a quick dinner now could I??

Here is a simple, improvised flatbread I made tonight to accompany a tasty 2-minute salad. It was a light, appropriately-summer meal in itself, but an evening ice-cream date topped the evening off nicely.

FOR THE FLATBREAD

Roll out your dough as thin as possibly possible. This would be just as quick with puff pastry, though not as thin and scrumptious. In my next post, I’ll re-write the recipe for this thin, sweet, to-die-for dough.

When Andrew and I made pizza over the weekend, we baked three pizzas on pizza stones, coating the bottoms lightly with fine bread flour (as we forgot cornmeal). Well, we had more pizza and no more stones—and, sure enough, the last pizza that bakes on an upside-down oiled cookie sheet turned out divine.

why mess with what works?

  

I rolled the dough on the back of a shiny jelly roll pan so the heat didn’t have to work so hard to get to the edges. More importantly, it’s way easier to retrieve your crispy bread from a flat surface than to finagle a spatula in there. Rub the sheet with nearly a tablespoon of olive oil before rolling the dough over it.

THE TOPPINGS

I used some scraps on hand: half a head of garlic, two small onions, a teeny bit of shredded mozzarella and white cheddar, fresh parmesan, and a few little cherry tomatoes. You could top this with anything, and to whatever extent you like. Though it seems like I used a number of ingredients, I kept the amounts minimal, as I wanted this to be more of a flavored bread than a pizza.

I sliced two small yellow onions (any kind will do, even red would be delicious here) into half-inch slices, and stirred them over low heat in half a tablespoon of butter and about a teaspoon of olive oil. Though I usually sprinkle a pinch of sugar over caramelized onions, I didn’t feel like dragging the kitchen chair over to reach the cabinet with the sugar. I added only two big pinches of kosher salt (use less salt if it’s not kosher), and they sweetened remarkably.

Regardless of what you prefer on your flatbread, and how elaborate or minimal you make it, do consider caramelized onions. They’re an experience unto themselves.

Stir once in a while, and drop in some water if the onions start sticking to the bottom.

TOP YOUR FLATBREAD!

Brush the entire surface of the dough with a gentle layer of olive oil. I stirred in roasted garlic to my oil, and though subtle, I think it contributed to the sweetness of the bread.

Though the order is absolutely your preference, I brushed the dough with roasted garlic oil, distributed the caramelized onions, sprinkled with a small amount of mozzarella and white cheddar, and a generous grating of parmesan cheese. Then I sliced some fresh cherry tomatoes, and brushed the cut sides with just a little bit of oil to help them cook.

Andrew teases me about my lack of dough-rolling abilities, as seen in the obscure shapes of these slabs of decadent dough. I think it looks, er, rustic. Right?

BAKE IT

Slide the cookie sheet into a 400 F oven. For our pizzas over the weekend, we cooked them about 450-475 F, but I really didn’t want to burn my little bit of toppings here. The dough was definitely cooked through in about eight minutes.

For those eight minutes, why not make a delicious, easy-peasy summer salad? I just tossed some fresh lettuce with my favorite vinaigrette: juice of one lemon, olive oil and honey whisked in until it doesn’t taste too lemony, salt and pepper and a drop of balsamic. And presto!

This dressing takes about two minutes (max) to make, so it’s great to have in the fridge. I just stirred the bit I had leftover from this weekend and had a really fresh salad in about 45 seconds! Some hazelnuts from the assorted nut collection in the fridge and that’s one dandy salad.

Check on your flatbread after about five minutes, and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. This dough bakes so quickly and appears to have the fragility of paper, but give it a chance to brown a little once cooked through.

What next?

Remove from oven and drool. Maybe toss some basil or parsley on top?

this crust is sturdy, yet beautifully transparent when you work it with your rolling pin

Thin yet flaky—what did I tell you? This is tried and true, stay tuned for the dough recipe soon!

 

This is a fantastic dinner, and on a hot, heavy day like this one, it’s nice not to feel bogged down after a meal.

Still, since you’re not overly stuffed, why not suggest your spouse/friend/cat treat you to some gelatto or something?

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romancing the (pizza) stone

Homemade pizza tonight…well, almost homemade. Though this turned out to be a slightly decadent dinner, I wasn’t going to risk setting the kitchen on fire like last night. (Special Thanks for that extinguisher, Pops). 

I picked up two fresh pizza doughs in the deli section of Trader Joes this week. I thought it would be fun to make gourmet pizzas this week, except when it came to making our meals, Andrew wanted to know where I was hiding the tomato sauce and cheese—whoops!

 

Sure enough, I purchased apples and a red onion this week, inspired to combine them with the gorgonzola and walnuts I had at home. Naturally, this was a disgusting idea to my Andrew (though I came prepared), so I whipped out some marinated chicken breasts and he came up with a fantastic BBQ chicken pizza!

I thought it wouldn’t hurt to type “gorgonzola apple caramelized onion” into Bing for some additional inspiration. Ironically, I found “Granny Smith Apple and Gorgonzola Pizza” from who else but Kevin, a fellow food blogger, who created my Oscar feta dip!!

While Andrew ran out to “borrow” some BBQ sauce, I caramelized some thickly sliced red and yellow onions—I wanted red for my pizza (especially flavorful alongside gorgonzola), but thought yellow onions a better complement to Andrew’s chicken. Once they were soft and shriveled, I stirred in some balsamic vinegar.

Mom gave me this goofy chopper that is completely useless for my onion-tears situation, but just perfect for chopping nuts. Kevin, of the blog Closet Cooking, inspired me to add walnuts to this pizza. You may think I’m going nuts with these exotic pizza ingredients, but I was striving for a sophisticated vegetable tart—with pizza dough for ease 🙂 

Special thanks to my Momma Stark for loaning me her ultra-groovy apple-peeler-corer-slicer! Besides that it saved me extra work for tonight’s dinner, the apples were just the right width for even cooking (and display)! 

how nifty is this?

 Homemade pizza cooks beautifully crisp on preheated pizza stones (as this is the best re-creation of pizzeria perfection at home), but sliding heavy pizza from a peel onto a hot stone has proved detrimental in our previous efforts…

Andrew spread a thin layer of barbeque sauce on his crust before layering the pizza with chicken, caramelized onions, and monterey jack cheese

I do have some carrots in the fridge to use up, but I don’t imagine anyone I know approving of my serving roasted carrots with pizza! Arugula leaves with shavings of parmesan and deliciously simply lemon vinaigrette was just right!

my Towson Tiger retrieving his BBQ pizza

 

 

Both of our pizzas resulted in gourmet flavors, and created easily at home. In eight minutes. Of course, if you want super-duper easy, have marinara and cheese on hand… though I’d argue it’s no more work to throw some veggies on top 😉 Perfect with Pinot!

 

my apple-gorgonzola caramelized onion pizza with walnuts didn't turn out exquisette in presentation, but indeed in taste!

 

 
  
 
 
 
 

 

ta-da!

 

99-cent pre-made pizza dough plus on-hand ingredients… that’s less than a tip for the delivery guy!

p.s. can you guess what film we enjoyed with our pizzas??

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