Source: Fine Cooking 9/2004
Provençal Onion Pizza
Pissaladière is a signature Provençal dish from Nice and environs, a pizza spread with a thick, sweet layer of onions that have been cooked slowly until they caramelize and garnished with olives and anchovies
2 tablespoons olive oil; 1 pounds sweet onions finely chopped; salt and freshly ground pepper; 2 minced garlic cloves; ½ bay leaf; 1 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or½ teaspoon dried thyme; 1½ teaspoons capers drained, rinsed and mashed in a mortar and pestle or finely chopped; 12 anchovy fillets, soaked in water for five minutes, drained, rinsed and dried on paper towels; 12 Niçoise olives
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, preferably with a pizza stone inside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to sizzle and soften, about three minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and pepper. Stir everything together, turn the heat to low, cover and cook slowly for 45 minutes, stirring often. The onions should melt down to a golden brown puree. If they begin to stick, add a few tablespoons of water. Stir in the capers, then taste and adjust seasonings. If there is liquid in the pan, cook over medium heat, uncovered, until it evaporates.
Spread the onions over the mozzarella. Cut the anchovies in half, and decorate the top of the crust with them, making twelve small X’s and placing an olive in the middle of each X. Place on top of the pizza stone, and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the crust are brown and the onions are beginning to brown. Remove from the heat. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Yield: One 12- to 14 inch pizza.
Pizza with Arugula and Prociutto
Brush crust (fresh or Boboli pre-made, which works surprisingly well) lightly with olive oil. Spread fresh mozzarella over crust, sprinkle with dried oregano, and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees on a pizza stone until cheese is bubbly and brown, and crust is golden.
Remove from oven. Immediately cover with raw arugula (which heat of pizza will cook) and then torn-up proscuitto. With a cheese slicer, top with curls of real parmesan cheese (no shaker cheese!). Finally drizzle with truffle oil. Last ingredient is important. Eat. Goes well with red wine.
Roasted Vidalia Onions
Yields 3½ cups.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 pounds Vidalia onions (about 5 or 6), sliced in half from stem to root
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
Heat the oven to 400°F. Set a large ovenproof skillet (or a flameproof roasting dish) over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Put in the olive oil and butter. When the butter foams or browns slightly, add the onions, cut side up. Cook until the onions brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Flip them so the cut sides face down and put the pan in the oven. Roast until the onions are very tender and dark golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the sherry vinegar, salt, thyme, and sugar. Let cool to room temperature and then slice into thin strips; pour any juices from the pan over them and mix them in.
Roasted Red Pepper Purée
Yields 3¼ cups.
6 red bell peppers
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sweet paprika Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Position an oven rack 6 inches from the element and heat the broiler to high, or prepare a medium-hot fire on your gas or charcoal grill. Broil or grill the peppers, flipping every 1 to 2 minutes, until all sides are blistered, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and seal with plastic. Let cool for about 20 minutes and then peel off the skins, remove the stem, scoop out the seeds, and discard the peppers’juices. Don’t rinse the peppers at any point, as this will wash off much of their sweet flavor. Put the flesh in a food processor or a blender. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and paprika. Purée on high until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer a smoother purée, force the mixture through a fine sieve.
Yields 1¼ cups.
I prefer oil-cured olives for this tapenade. They have an intense flavor, and they blend into a nice, smooth paste.
1 cup pitted Kalamata or Gaeta olives (preferably oil-cured)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup diced red onion
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons drained capers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Cognac
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until finely chopped and well combined.
Yields about 2 cups.
6 heads garlic, unpeeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 350°F. Cut off the tips of the garlic heads so you can see the cloves. Brush the cut sides of the heads with olive oil and set them, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the garlic is soft when squeezed, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly. While the heads are still warm, squeeze each one over a small bowl; the roasted cloves should slide out easily.
Gorgonzola, Escarole, and Bell Pepper
1/4 lb escarole or spinach, washed, spun dry and chopped coarse (about 3 1/2 C loosely packed)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
corn meal for sprinking the baking sheet
1/4 C crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
1 red bell pepper, cut into julieene strips
1/2 C finely diced whole-milk mozzarella
1Tbs minced fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tsp crumbled dried
In a heavy skillet cook the escarole in 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it is wilted slightly, add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Press water out of escarole/spinach mixture.
Halve the dough, form each half into a ball, and stretch each ball into a 7-inch round, making the rounds slightly thicker around the edges. Transfer the rounds to an oiled baking sheet (preferably black steel), sprinkled lightly with the cornmeal, and drizzle each round with ½ teaspoon of the remaining oil. Top the rounds evenly with the Gorgonzola, the escarole mixture, the bell pepper, and the mozzarella and sprinkle the rosemary over the topping. Drizzle the pizzette with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and bake them on the bottom rack of a preheated 500°F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crusts are golden and the mozzarella is bubbling.
Gourmet 2/87 pg 156
Tomato Pizza with Garlic and Smoked Gouda
Cooking spray 1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1 1/2 cups sliced plum tomato (about 4)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Sprinkle cheese over pizza crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange the tomato slices over cheese. Combine oil and garlic; sprinkle over tomato. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Top with basil.