Friday, November 16, 2012

Radicchio Pizza

This pizza pie is perfect for a cold fall or winter's evening. Featuring slightly bitter radicchio, luscious teleggio cheese, briny kalamata olives, and sweet caramelized onions, it plays on every taste bud creating a delicious and comforting balance in a non-traditional pie. The dough as always is flavorful and incredible in texture, a perfect base for a myriad of toppings. From the first bite to the very last, this pie is pizza perfection!

Radicchio Pie
Makes 1 (10 to 12 inch) pizza
(From My Pizza)

1 ball of pizza dough, shaped and waiting on a floured peel
80 grams (1/3 cup) basic tomato sauce
60 grams (about 2 oz) taleggio cheese, rind removed, cut into 1-inch cubes (I cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
25 grams (about 6) pitted alfonso or kalamata olives, halved
15 grams (1 T.) caramelized onions (I used more) (recipe follows)
70 grams radicchio (about 1/2 small head), sliced into 1/4-inch strips
1 gram (about 1 tsp.) fresh thyme leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Put the pizza stone on a rack in a gas* oven about 8 inches from the broiler. Preheat the oven on bake at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Switch to broil for 10 minutes.

With the dough on the peel, spoon the tomato sauce over the surface and spread it evenly, leaving about an inch of rim untouched. Distribute the cheese and olives evenly over the sauce. Scatter the onoins and then the radicchio over the pie.

With quick, jerking motions, slide the pie onto the stone. Broil for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes under gas (somewhat longer with an electric oven), until the top is bubbling and the crust is nicely charred but not burnt.

Use the peel, transfer the pizza to a tray or serving platter. Sprinkle with the thyme and drizzle with the oil. Slice and serve immediately.

*For an electric oven, place the stone 4 inches from the top heating element, and preheat, on bake, at 500 degrees F for the usual 30 minutes. Then, open the oven door a few inches and leave it ajar for about 30 seconds. Some of the ambient heat will escape, but the stone with stay just as hot. Now close the oven door and switch to broil for 10 minutes to heat the surface to the maximum. Open the door and slide the pizza in to broil. Because the stone is so close to the element, you may need to pull the rack out a few inches to get the pie centered on the stone; do it quickly and don't worry about losing too much heat. With the door closes, broil for roughly 2 minutes longer than specified for gas--until the crust is adequately charred but not burnt and the toppings are bubbling.

*For a bottom broiler, start with the stone in the broiler at the lowest level or on the floor of the oven. Preheat on low for about 20 minutes, and then switch to high for another 5 minutes. Slide in the pizza, close the drawer, and broil as instructed by the recipe (most often 3 1/2 to 4 minutes), until bubbling and properly charred--checking to be sure it's not burning.

Caramelized Onions
Makes about 350 grams (2 cups)
(From My Pizza)

600 grams (3 medium) onions
3 grams (1/2 tsp.) red wine vinegar
10 grams (about 1 T.) extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves from 2 thyme sprigs
2 grams (1/4 tsp.) fine sea salt

Cut the onions in half and then into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices (I thought that seemed too thick and so I sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices instead). With your fingers, separate the slices into strips and put them in a medium bowl. Toss with the vinegar, oil, and thyme leaves.

Transfer the onions to a 10-inch saute pan. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes, over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Do not burn. Uncover the pan and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and soft, about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with the salt, transfer to a platter, and set aside to cool to room temperature. Use at once or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.


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