|Caramelized onions make a delicious topping for a thin crust pizza.|
You might cook with them every day but they’re never the star of the meal. They add body, texture and flavour but are often invisible in a dish.
That is, unless you caramelize your onions. Then they can become a versatile suppertime star in pizza and pasta dishes (see recipes below).
When I lived in France Pizza au Onion was a pretty common sight on restaurant menus. It sounded disarmingly simple, like something was missing from the description but when it arrived at the table you realized that there can be perfection in simplicity. No need to crowd the flavours when caramelized onions are involved.
Look for local onions in the grocery store all year long. Bags of yellow cooking onions grown in your part of the country are likely easy to find in the produce section. Check the tags to be sure.
To caramelize onions, slice them thinly and sauté in oil over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir often.
Caramelized Onion Pizza with Feta and Sundried Tomatoes
- 3-4 onions, caramelized
- Handful of chopped spinach
- 2 Tbsp. soft sundried tomatoes
- Generous sprinkling of feta or extra old cheddar, grated
- Whole grain pizza dough (recipe below)
Spread prepared dough with onions, sprinkle over spinach and sundried tomatoes.
Top with cheese and bake at 400 F for 12-15 minutes.
Variation: Spread prepared dough with 3 Tbsp. prepared pesto. Top with onions and cheese.
Thin crust whole grain pizza dough
- 1 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
3 Tbsp. olive oil (or any type of oil)
About 2 ½ cups of whole grain flour
2 Tbsp. fine cornmeal or coarse corn flour
1 tsp. salt
In a small bowl dissolve sugar in water and sprinkle over yeast. Set aside for about 10 minutes until it starts to bubble.
In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour with cornmeal and salt.
Add the oil to the bubbling yeast mixture and pour over the flour. Mix well and begin adding the rest of the flour about ½ cup at a time until you have a nice doughy consistency. You might need an extra ¼ cup of flour.
Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl covered with a tea towel. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough, let rest five minutes then divide in three equal parts.
Roll each piece into a 12” circle, add your toppings and bake at 400 F for 10- 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it.
Pasta with caramelized onions
Caramelize 3-4 onions. When they’re ready, stir in 2 cups chopped spinach or Swiss chard, toss around a bit, cover and remove from heat.
Cook one pound of pasta according to package directions and drain, leaving it a bit wet. Toss pasta with caramelized onion mixture, ½ cup of feta and ¼ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts. Add a generous squeeze of lemon (about half a lemon) and season with salt & pepper. Serve with parmesan. Lemon zest grated over is a nice addition.
|To caramelize onions, slice them thinly and sauté in oil over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir often.|