March 16, 2014

Gorgonzola Walnut Arugula Pizza








Every so often we'll make pizza at home, sometimes with dough from a local joint and sometimes we make it ourselves. Today my teenager and I made it from scratch using a recipe from the Joy of Cooking which included 10 minutes of kneading (kneading dough always engenders an appreciation of professional bakers who must have seriously muscular forearms and hands). Our kitchen is on the chilly side, like the rest of the old house, so we proofed the dough in the oven. I learned this trick from a cooking class I took at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, a fantastic restaurant Savannah, Georgia in a gorgeous, decadent space that really makes you feel the swell of Savannah...darlin'.  You preheat the oven to it's lowest setting then turn it off and place your bowl of covered dough inside. The residual heat makes the dough rise nicely without putting it in harms way (i.e., agile dogs who will eat raw dough with an enthusiasm they usually reserve for pencils and shoelaces). 

This is my favorite way to top homemade pizza — onions caramelized with white wine, garlic, olive oil, pungent Gorgonzola cheese, crunchy walnuts, a handful of spicy arugula and squeeze of lemon just when it comes out of the oven. 



Gorgonzola Walnut Pizza

Makes one 14" pizza

1 medium onion (any color)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese. crumbled (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup (heaping) walnuts, chopped
Pizza dough for a medium (14") pizza
1 cup arugula

1. Preheat oven to 500ยบ and place pizza stone or inverted sheet pan on middle rack. Preheat for at least 1/2 hour so it's really hot.

2. Slice onion thinly and place in saute pan over low heat with butter and a sprinkle of salt. Saute 5 minutes until softened then add white wine and cook until evaporated (another 10-15 minutes). Set aside.

3. Place garlic cloves in a small pan with 1/4 cup olive oil and bring to a simmer then remove from heat, take out garlic and slice thinly. You can also do this in the microwave - heat for about 30 seconds.

4. Roll out pizza dough to fit stone or sheet pan (rough 14"). Brush with garlic-infused olive oil and top with sauteed onions, sliced garlic, crumbled cheese and walnuts. Slide onto hot pizza stone or sheet pan and bake in oven until bubbly and lightly browned. Remove, top with arugula, dress with lemon juice and a little salt and serve.
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