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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fall Pizza: Caramelized Onions, Herbed Ricotta & Arugula

Pizza is one of the most delicious, adaptable, and fun dinners I can think of. For us, the Summer is all about Grilled Pizza Parties (oh how I miss you bare feet and 8 pm sunshine...) but now that it's Fall rather than huddling around the outdoor grill and croquet set, we are snuggled up inside, in our slippers and pj's when the dinner bell rings.

This idea of topping a simple pizza with dressed arugula was inspired by the bianco pie served at Figs (one of Todd English's restaurants). The combination of crispy crust, creamy herbed ricotta, and fresh spicy greens is oh so satisfying. And, believe it or not, every inch of this pizza was born at the Providence Winter Farmers Market - from the dough, to the ricotta, onions, herbs, and arugula. See, winter isn't that bad.

Fall Pizza w. Caramelized Onions, Herbed Ricotta, and Arugula:Makes 2 "individual" pizzas (if you're hungry like us...)
2 whole wheat pizza crusts from Olga's Cup and Saucer
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 cup Naragansett Creamery ricotta
2 T finely chopped fresh herbs, any assortment you like I used rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.
Zest 1/2 lemon
4 cups fresh arugula, washed well & dried
Olive oil
1 T unsalted butter
2 T balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper

A few months ago, Nick went to Home Depot and picked up a half dozen natural ceramic tiles to line our oven rack - then you can simply slide your pizzas right onto the tiles which mimics a pizza oven! It works great! Remember to pre-heat the oven with the tiles inside.
1. Pre-heat oven as hot as it will get (500).

2. Mix ricotta, chopped herbs, and lemon zest. Set aside.

3. Heat 1 T butter and 2 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add in onions. Stir around to coat onions then let sit until browned on one side, then toss around. Again let sit until browned, toss. Do this until the onions are caramelized, a deep brown, about 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.

4. When onions are ready, top pizza crust with a layer of caramelized onions. Dollop herbed ricotta on, then slide pies into the hot oven. Cook for about 10 minutes (watch the crust, if it looks like it's done, take it out sooner).

5. Dress arugula with 2 T balsamic vinegar & 1 T olive oil, sprinkle with salt and toss.

6. When pizza is crispy, slice into rectangular strips - top with dressed arugula & DIG IN!


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