Pizza with Pears, Goat Cheese & Port-Thyme Caramelized Onions

Pizza with Pears, Goat Cheese & Port-Thyme Caramelized Onions

I love pizza.

I love goat cheese.

I love caramelized onions.

I love cooking with wine.

I somehow managed to combine all of that into one recipe.

And I couldn’t help but sing THIS SONG while making it.

Pizza with Pears, Goat Cheese & Port-Thyme Caramelized Onions

Pizza with Pears, Goat Cheese & Port-Thyme Caramelized Onions

I set aside some pizza dough that I made for dinner to try this with, so the amounts in this recipe are for a small pizza made with 8 oz. of pizza dough, enough for two people (or one, if you’re me).

1 tablespoon olive oil (I used a nonstick pan, you may need more oil for a regular pan)

1 large onion, sliced

Kosher salt & Freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup port wine (probably any red wine would be fine)

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme (or more, to taste)

1/2 pound pizza dough, homemade or store-bought (I love THIS recipe)

Sliced pear (I used small Forelle pears, so I needed 3 of them. If using larger pears you’d probably just need one.)

1 1/2 ounces goat cheese

Cornmeal, for sprinkling

1) Preheat oven to 500°F. If you have a pizza stone, make sure it is in the oven before you turn it on. If you do not have one, you can just bake the pizza on a baking sheet.

2) Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, add onion and a large pinch of kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden. Add port, and cook until liquid is just about evaporated. Remove from heat and add thyme and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

3) Since I don’t have a pizza peel, I’ve found that the best way to transfer my pizza onto the pizza stone is to prepare it on a piece of parchment on the back of a baking sheet, and then slide the pizza onto the stone along with the parchment. I then slide the parchment out from underneath the pizza after a few minutes of baking since parchment burns at 500°.

Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper, a pizza peel, or a baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll the pizza dough it very thin (or thick, if that’s your preference), and place on the prepared parchment/peel/baking sheet. Top with the caramelized onions, pears, and goat cheese.

4) Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust starts to brown, about 10 minutes. If you use the parchment paper, remember to remove it from underneath the pizza after the first 4-5 minutes!

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South of the Border Pizza

I made this pizza for the first time in a few years, and it is still as great as I remember!

South of the Border Pizza
The Best 125 Meatless Main Dishes, Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay

Dough for 1 pizza
1 cup black beans (I use whole 15-ounce can)
1/4 cup water or bean cooking liquid
1 minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt (I did not use)
A few grinds of black pepper
1 1/4 cups monterey jack cheese (I used mozzarella)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 (4 1/2-ounce) can diced green chilies, drained
1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 medium fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 medium avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 5ooF.

Roll out pizza dough into a 12-inch circle.

Place beans and water in bowl of food processor, along with the green onions, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

Spread Bean mixture over prepared crust. evenly distribute cheese, cilantro, chilies, and olives. Arrange the tomato slices over everything.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.

Arrange avocado slices on the pizza.

6 servings

My New Favorite Pizza Dough

I decided to try a new pizza dough for dinner last night and we all loved it! The crust was chewy with lots of flavor. This is going to be my regular pizza dough from now on!

(*Note: I did use the semolina flour, but if you can’t find it, substitute more all-purpose flour. It also doubles beautifully.)

Semolina Pizza Dough
Vegan Italiano, Donna Klein

2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (about 1 tablespoon)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semolina flour
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional as necessary

Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil and set aside. In another large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining oil and salt. With a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the semolina flour and enough of the all-purpose flour to make a firm, soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding additional all-purpose flour as needed to prevent sticking. Gather the dough into a ball and place in prepared bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly to release any air pockets. Shape the dough into a ball. The dough is ready to be shaped and rolled as needed.

(Bake at 500F.)

Makes 1 (14-inch) pizza crust

Pizza Sauce

Tonight I made pizza for dinner. I kept it simple with a plain cheese topping, but I used this sauce recipe. I doubled it and put half of it in the freezer to use another time.

Basic Pizza Sauce
Cooking Light

This makes a chunky sauce; if you prefer a smoother consistency, you can puree the sauce in a food processor with one tablespoon water. Make-ahead tip: Prepare the sauce a day or two ahead and refrigerate it, or make a double batch and freeze the extra for up to one month.
Cooking spray
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in wine; cook 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, oregano, pepper, and tomatoes. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; stir in basil and vinegar. Cool.
Note: Nutritional analysis is for 1 1/3 cups Basic Pizza Sauce.
Spicy Pizza Sauce Variation: Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper with the oregano and black pepper; omit basil.

Yield: 1 1/3 cups.

Pizza

Tonight’s dinner was one of our favorite meals – pizza! I made the dough last night and let it rise while I watched some TV, then kept it in the fridge until dinnertime today.

Mini pizzas for the kids, topped with sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, basil, and parmesan:

For Chaim and myself, pizzas topped with sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, red peppers, onions, sauteed eggplant, basil, chopped garlic, and parmesan.

Basic Pizza Dough
The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook, Jack Bishop

1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (1/2 envelope)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Cornmeal for sprinkling

Pour the water into a workbowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the yeast and oil and process for several seconds until smooth. Add the flour and salt, and process until the dough comes together in a ball, about 30 seconds.

Turn the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until the dough is puffy and has almost doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Divide the dough in half and place each half into a separate lightly oiled medium bowl. Let rise, covered, for 20 minutes. (The dough can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers overnight or frozen for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before rolling out.)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. (If using a pizza stone, make sure it is put into the oven when the oven is cold, and let it preheat with the oven.)

Lightly sprinkle a pizza peel or large rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Flatten 1 dough ball into an 8-inch disk. Pat the disk several times to level out the dough. Slowly rotate the disk, stretching the dough to the side as you turn it. Thin the edge by flattening and stretching it with your fingertips. The circle of dough should have a diameter of about 12 inches.

Top as you would like, and then slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, or put the baking sheet into the oven. Bake until cheese is golden and the crust starts to brown.