A few years ago I discovered the joy of making my own pizza. Since then we do it every other month or so. My kids love the idea of putting whatever they like on their own personal pizza (even though they only ever put on cheese and pepperoni). I love to try out more gourmet pizza toppings, and have yet to be disappointed. This is one of my favorites. It seems like a lot of work to put together the components, but since you can do it all ahead of time it makes the final baking process quick as a snap. You can cook it in the oven (shown above), or if you have nice weather, it's even better cooked on the grill. Both instructions, as well as the recipes for the peppers, onions, and dough follow.
Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese
3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and cut into 1/2” pieces (see recipe below), or 1 cup store-bought
1 cup caramelized onions (see recipe below)
1 T minced fresh oregano or 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 T chopped fresh parsley or 1 ½ tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup (about 2 ½ oz) crumbled goat cheese, aka chevre (or buy herbed chevre and skip the oregano and parsley up above)
Pizza crust dough (homemade works better than store bought—see recipe below)
Combine peppers and onions with oregano, parsley, and salt. Prepare the grill by brushing grate lightly with oil (or spray with cooking spray). Roll dough into a 9-inch circle or rectangle.
Instructions for baking in oven:
Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, then sprinkle a tablespoon of cornmeal on top. Place crust in center of sheet. Arrange crumbled goat cheese on crust. Top with pepper/onion mixture. Bake for 12 minutes, or until crusted is lightly browned and cheese is slightly melted.
Instructions for baking on grill:
Place (empty) dough on grill rack and grill 3 minutes over medium-high heat or until browned. Turn crust over. Arrange crumbled goat cheese on crust. Top with pepper/onion mixture. Grill an additional 3 minutes, or until cheese is slightly melted and bottom of crust is browned.
Roasted Red Peppers
Red bell peppers (whole)
Brush peppers with oil, or spray with cooking spray. Grill over direct high heat until skin is black and peeling, rotating to ensure even cooking. If using broiler instead of grill, place peppers on broiler pan and cook 6 inches from heating element until skin is black and peeling, rotating to ensure even cooking. Total cooking time will be 15-20 minutes.
Take peppers from grill or broiler pan and place directly into a ziplock bag. Seal the bag and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Remove from bag and scrape blackened skin off peppers with the side of a knife. Discard skin, and slice peppers. Peppers may be made ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Sweet onions (1 large or 2 small), thinly sliced
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 T sugar
Combine the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted add onions. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until onions begin to turn soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over onions and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring every few minutes, until onions are reduced, sticky, and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Onions may be used immediately or kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Pizza Dough (for grill or oven)
From Martha Stewart
2 cups warm water
½ tsp sugar
2 T yeast
3 T oil
6-7 cups flour
1 T salt
Stir water, sugar and yeast together. Let stand 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, stir 6 cups flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and oil and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. Punch down dough, fold onto itself 4-5 times, leaving smooth side up. Cover and rise again until doubled, about 30 minutes. Punch down dough. Cut into 6 even pieces. Knead each one into a ball, cover all but one. Flatten one ball into a disk, then let rest 5 minutes. Roll into a 9” circle or 7”x11” rectangle. Place on lightly floured baking sheet, cover, and either use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use, up to one day. Can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Makes 6 crusts. Recipe can also be halved.