A Parting Gift?

As you read this, I’m out enjoying one last day in Seattle with the Hubs. I’m sure it’s been a fun trip, and I’m sure I’ll tell you more about it when I’m back home. It’s likely that we visited Pike Place Market and the original Starbucks, and we probably ate some seafood. Perhaps a trip to Woodinville for wine tasting? The possibilities are endless; I just hope it didn’t rain the whole time, but when I left, the forecast looked darn good.

Sadly though, I won’t be around to tell you of my adventures until next week, as I’ll get home tonight just long enough to re-pack for Albuquerque, NM. It seems as if it’s that time of the year – the time when I have to learn more about genetics and sit in huge rooms full of people, room temperature pitchers of tap water, and knitters (yes, knitters – some of them knit during conferences). Fortunately, these forced trips are accompanied by good friends and sunshine and hopefully some bars. So don’t worry about me – I will survive.

But since I won’t be around, I thought I’d leave you with pie. Is that alright? It was national pi day last week (3.14), wasn’t it?

And no, I don’t mean apple pie, I mean pizza pie! I actually make a decent amount of pizza at home, or at least I feel as if I have lately. This one is definitely a keeper, and I didn’t even spend the time making the crust. Which is weird, because I’m usually into that sort of thing. But I wanted to test out a store-bought dough, and this seemed like the time to do it.

As it turns out, the store-bought dough is quite the timesaver (unless you plan ahead, in which case making your own is a cinch) and this pizza well, let’s just say you shouldn’t take my word for it’s raditude, but rather give this thing a try.

Pear & Prosciutto Pizza
Adapted from Cooking Light, March 2010; serves 4 (or 2 really hungry people)

printable version

My friend and past Iron Chef, Hope, informed me that Whole Foods makes killer pizza dough. I now concur. But if you want to make your own, you might try this recipe from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks; she knows her grains for sure. If you’re not into whole wheat flour, I have a simple recipe I used a while back, so give it a try. If your recipe of choice makes extra, just freeze the other dough and thaw overnight. Brilliant!

2 t evoo
2 c vertically sliced Vidalia onion (1-2 onions)
1 recipe of pizza dough (see above)
1/2 c shredded provolone cheese
1 medium firm Bartlett pear, thinly sliced
2 oz prosciutto, cut into thin strips
fresh-ground pepper
2 T chopped walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 c baby arugula leaves
1 t sherry vinegar
cornmeal or flour for dusting

If using homemade dough, prepare it the night before or an hour before you’ll need it because it will certainly need time to rise (most recipes say at least an hour). If you have store-bought dough or made your dough the night before and put it in the fridge, take it out and let it come to room temp before messing with it.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, roll out pizza dough with rolling pin, or with your hands, until it’s a good sized circle, or rectangle, or whatever shape you darn-well please. It should be 10-12 inches in a circle. If it’s pulling back and not being your friend, let it rest for 10 minutes or so and try again. It will work with you when it’s ready :). Once you’ve got it the way you want it, sprinkle a baking sheet or pizza stone with cornmeal (or flour if you prefer) and place pizza atop that (this will help to prevent sliding and add nice flavor too). Poke a few holes (with a fork) into the dough, or omit this step if you like the big bubbles, like I do.

Place pizza crust in oven and bake for about 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, top evenly with onion mixture; sprinkle with cheese. Top evenly with pear and prosciutto. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and remove from oven.

Sprinkle with nuts (or put them on, untoasted, when there’s about 5 minutes left for the pizza to bake). Place arugula in a medium bowl. Drizzle vinegar over greens; toss gently to coat. Top pizza evenly with arugula mixture. Cut pizza into 8 wedges.

2 thoughts on “A Parting Gift?

  1. *drools* Wowza, Heather – this looks spectacular! I LOVE homemade pizza too…my current favorite is another “white” pizza – goat cheese, thinly sliced potatoes, caramelized onion and bacon. Garnish with cilantro. YUM. But this one…it’ll be on our table very soon.

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