Friday, June 11, 2010

Cherry, Almond, and Roasted Onion Pizzas with Gruyere and Mozzarella Cheeses and Fresh Basil

 I bought a huge bag of cherries yesterday from the store, because as I walked by them they were calling my name...they looked wonderful, and they were on sale!  I hadn't had cherries since last year, and man did they look good!  I bought a bunch because I wanted to make some cherry desserts this weekend, but I thought they might be yummy in some other applications as tonight they would be my pizza topping of choice!  I paired them with some toasted almonds and roasted red onions as well as some basil as a finishing touch.  Not forgetting the cheese, I used mozzarella as I always do on pizza, since it is such a superb melting cheese that halps blend flavor, as well as some gruyere, because it loves the cherries!  The combination was scrumptious, the tart sweet cherries, the salty melty cheese and the roasted almonds...along with the herby fresh basil...heavenly...the type of thing that makes me swoon and not be able to speak!  If you haven't tried cherries on a pizza, you simply must!

Cherry, Almond, and Roasted Onion Pizzas with Gruyere and Mozzarella Cheeses and Fresh Basil

Makes 2 10 inch pizzas

2 whole wheat pizza crusts store bought or home made (see my recipe below)

extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved 
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz shredded Gruyere cheese
about 4 fresh large basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

A good quality pizza stone is essential to a crispy crust. Place the stone on the highest rack in the oven, then crank up the heat as high as possible at least an hour before baking the pizza (but if you don't have a stone, still use the top rack, but you will need to leave the pizza on a sheet pan to bake). Line a sheet pan with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Toss onions with a little olive oil, and scatter on the pan. Roast for about 5-10 minutes in the hot oven until softened. To assemble pizzas, place one piece of the dough on a piece of parchment paper, spray rolling pin with non-stick spray and roll out as thin as possible (about 10 inches is best) Repeat with other piece of dough using another sheet of parchment. Sprinkle salt and pepper over crust, then scatter over the cherries, onions, almonds then the mozzarella and gruyere. Using a pizza peel, or an upside down sheet pan, carefully slide the dough (keeping it on the parchment) into the oven. Bake for about 3-5 minutes, or until crust is starting to brown and cheese is bubbling. Carefully slide the parchment onto a sheet pan or pizza peel to remove from oven. Scatter the basil over the pizza and serve!

Amy's Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Makes 8 10 inch crusts

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Pkgs rapid-rise yeast
2 cups warm water

To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center, pour in the water and then dissolve the yeast in the water. Gradually stir the flour into the water mixture, until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface, then knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Oil a large bowl with olive oil, then place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area, such as near the oven, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. When dough has risen, punch down and divide into 8 pieces. You can either freeze the dough in individual portions (just place in ziplock bags and take out the night before you want to use it, then it will be ready to use the next day), or set aside to use right away. If making the recipe above, you will need two crusts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

interesting combination of ingredients with a tempting result