Hazelnut Onion Feta Pizza2010-09-22
It appears that we have been impacted by everything Oregon in our thinking lately. In the past I think we have bought hazelnuts only once to go on top of a dark chocolate grenache tart, but here we are buying hazelnuts now from the bulk section in the Whole Foods grocery. Yes we saw a lot of hazelnut trees out there. One winery had raw nuts at the wine tasting and Tina’s restaurant had them roasted in their house salad. So the “Iron Chef” ingredient for this creation was destined to be hazelnuts.
Pizza was the next thought for our meal creation so I began to check for the ingredients so they would be on hand for the day we made the pizza. Making fresh dough is a fun experience, but also takes time and some practice to get a good quality product. I was all prepared to make a hearty whole wheat pizza dough when a partner at work suggested just buying the dough at Whole Foods. As I pondered the thought and searched the web a bit I found that his idea was not unfounded and even popular with other foodies across the web. The flour, yeast etc…. went back into the pantry for another day and we were going to experiment with this store bought dough.
We had to admit that the pizza crust came out as good or maybe even better than some of my homemade versions. So I think I am converted to buying this now when I just want a basic crust. The red peppers and hazelnuts gave this pizza a bit of a crunch pizazz that we really enjoyed. It is the first time I have introduced nuts into a pizza and the hazelnuts provided a good taste without some of the bitterness that a walnut might have provided. Next time I might put some haloumi on top instead of feta and give the final product a light drizzle of lemon juice.
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cups thinly sliced sweet onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 Pizza Dough
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal or semolina
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1 cup basil, thinly sliced
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic cooking for 1 minute and then add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1 teaspoon rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for about another 20 minutes or until onion is a deep golden brown, stirring frequently.
Preheat oven to 500°. Set a rack in the middle of the oven.
Roll your dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a 12-inch pizza pan or baking sheet coated with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Sprinkle the remaining rosemary on the surface of the dough. Top with onion and place in the oven baking at 500° for 10 minutes. Add the feta cheese, red peppers and hazelnuts and bake an additional 3-4 minutes making sure the crust does not overcook. Remove from oven and top with the basil. Cut the pizza and serve.
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