Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pizza with Roasted Zucchini, Caramelized Onion, and Pesto

You can use whatever pesto recipe you like best. I don't always put pine nuts (or a substitute) in my pesto, and because this was going on a cheesy pizza, I opted not to add grated cheese. You won't need this whole pesto recipe for the pizza, so keep the leftovers in the fridge or freeze it in small chunks and use it when you'd like.

Total Time: about 1 hour, 15 minutes
Makes 1 pizza

Ingredients for Pizza:
1 ball pizza dough (prepared or store-bought)
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
4-5 oz grated Fontina (I actually used Fontiago)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper
cornmeal, for dusting

1 bunch basil leaves
1 small bunch parsley leaves
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
squeeze of lemon juice
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Combine the basil, parsley, chopped garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the machine running, add enough olive oil to form a thinish paste. Check for seasonings. (At this point I like to transfer the pesto to a plastic squeeze bottle so I can squirt it on the pizza. Have I mentioned how awesome these things are? They're inexpensive, dishwasher-safe, and perfect for sprinkling finishing sauces, salad dressings, and sauces for stir-fries.)

In a large saute pan, heat the two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onion, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has caramelized, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the zucchini slices with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast, flipping the slices over halfway through, until browned in spots, about 20-25 minutes. Remove and set aside until ready to top your pizza. Increase the oven temperature to 475F.

Stretch the pizza dough into a circle or rectangle, about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle some cornmeal on a baking sheet and transfer the pizza dough onto the sheet. Top with the caramelized onions, zucchini, and grated cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is browning and bubbly. Remove from the oven and drizzle some pesto on top. The heat from the pizza will warm up the oils in the pesto. Let cool for a minute before slicing and enjoying!

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