This rustic homemade pizza recipe features balsamic glazed bartlett pears, salty prosciutto, and peppery arugula. Vidalia onions and fresh parmesan and mozzarella really marry well in this sweet and savory dish. This recipe makes for an easy weeknight meal.
I must preface this post by divulging my initial doubts on one key ingredient in this recipe; fresh mozzarella. Despite the obvious notion that fresh mozzarella brings a lovely whole note to any pizza, I've most often paired other more pungent cheeses with pear and arugula. I toyed with the idea of sprinkling crumbled gorgonzola in the final minutes of baking. Round and round, I debated internally for several hours until reflections on my satellite navigation blunders came to mind. Many times the voice from the sky instructs seemingly inconceivable detours from what I deem the logical route. When the anomalous situation arises, I fight myself not to disobey her instructions because I think I know a better route to the destination. 'She' is right without fail, and consequently reprimands with "u-turn when possible" because road construction or other factors inevitably invoke a detour.
What does this story have to do with cooking a pizza? Nothing really, other than reminding myself intuition should be left to creating new recipes and choosing boyfriends, not to friends' recipes and certainly not to baking.
My decision to go forth with the fresh mozzarella was not empirical; a friend gave me this recipe and gosh darn it - I was going to make it as instructed. Don't mess up a good thing, right? Let's get on with the recipe!
- Prep Time : 60 minutes
- Cook Time : 24 minutes
- Yield : 8 slices
- herbs de provence olive oil - 1 tsp
- pizza dough - 1 pound
- fresh parmesan - 3 Tbs, finely grated
- vidalia onion - 1/4 cup, cut into 1/8 inch slices
- fresh mozzarella - 4 oz, thinly sliced
- sea salt - dash
- black pepper - hearty dash
- prosciutto - 2 oz., paper thin sliced and torn into 1 inch squares
- bartlett pear - 1, cored and sliced lengthwise into 1/8 inch strips
- orange blossom honey - 1 tsp
- balsamic vinegar - 1 tsp
- arugula - 1 handful, torn and stems removed
You know what dough looks like, so I doubt illustration is needed. I purchased one pound pre-made from the local grocery, but if you wish to make your own here is a recipe for basic pizza dough.
While the dough is rising for an hour at room temperature, slice the vidalia onion, pear, and fresh mozzarella (w00t!) and destem the arugula. Leave the arugula out and refrigerate the other ingredients until the dough is ready to roll.
Coat the bottom of the pan with herbs de provence olive oil (or classic olive oil.) Spread the pizza dough to desired shape, or roll out for a thin crust, and place in a deep dish baking pan or stoneware. Top with fresh parmesan and arrange prosciutto, sliced vidalia onion, and fresh mozzarella. Give a light sea salt sprinkle and a good four or five grinds of black pepper.
Bake for 18-24 minutes at 400 degrees (or 450 for 15-20 minutes if using pizza dough made from scratch)
Meanwhile, cook pear slices in a hot frying pan with a sprinkle of honey or sugar. The key is to start with the pears in a cool pan and once hot, stir very infrequently. Achieving proper caramelization requires resisting the urge to stir, poke, turn, etc. If you do, you'll have sweet but sad, limp, steamed pears. Just wait. Once beginning to brown well, add the balsamic vinegar (about 2-3 minutes into cooking phase). Cook another minute or so until balsamic evaporates and remove from heat.
Once pizza is showing signs of golden happiness, remove from oven and immediately top with balsamic glazed pears and arugula. The heat from the pizza will cook the arugula a little bit. I covered the pan with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes to help the heat wilt the arugula ever so slightly.
I'm compelled to conclude with utmost gratitude for this recipe and am utterly satisfied with my submission to the creamy fresh mozzarella seduction.
Thanks a bundle Leah - you rock in the kitchen!