Sunday, April 29, 2007
Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Pizza
In honor of my grandmother's birthday (Happy Birthday Dottie!) my family gathered at my parent's house last night for an Italian dinner. No, we are not in any form Italian by heritage but we certainly can appreciate the food.
I've always thought Italian food is custom-designed for sharing, collaborating and gathering friends and family together to celebrate.
My mom made a classic meat lasagna and chicken breast braised in fresh tomato sauce over cappelini, my sister-in-law made a romaine salad which was topped with Parmesan and fresh sourdough croutons (recipe below) and I made a Caramelized Onion & Mushroom flatbread pizza.
Not surprising to anyone who knows me, I also supplied the wine, which was a cheap and cheerful (but quite drinkable) Cabernet from France called Fortant. Look for it at select Trader Joe's stores.
Here are a few recipes from the evening.
Simple Sourdough Croutons:
(makes about 2 cups)
3-4 slices sourdough bread, cut into chunks
Olive oil to coat
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Toss bread with olive oil and seasonings, bake at 450 until golden brown and crisp.
Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Flatbread Pizza:
(makes about 16 small pieces)
1 lb fresh pizza dough (I used Trader Joe's)
Olive oil as needed
Salt and pepper
2 c shredded sharp Cheddar or mozzarella
8 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
4 medium onions, cut into thin slices
2 tbs butter
Salt and black pepper
Slice onions and saute in butter until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat WAY down and continue to cook onions, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown and sweet (caramelized). This can take up to 45-60 minutes total. Be patient and resist the temptation to turn up the heat. This can be done ahead of time.
Once onions are done (if not pre-made), begin assembling the pizza. Preheat oven to 500 and roll out the dough on a baking sheet that you have sprayed or smeared with olive oil (or use a silicon baking sheet). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and chopped rosemary. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until puffed up and beginning to turn golden around the edges and is no longer raw in the middle.
Remove from oven and top with caramelized onions, sliced mushrooms, cheese and season again with pepper, salt if needed and remaining amount of chopped rosemary. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, mushrooms are fully cooked and pizza is beginning to brown. Slice and serve.