Hi! Meet my sister Amber! She’s a fantastic chef and we’re lucky enough that she’ll be posting recipes for us to salivate over every Friday!
I love food. Every now and then, I like going out to eat at nice places and trying new combinations that I would otherwise never do. Then, I like to go home and figure out how to make it. And so, one day I went to the California Pizza Kitchen with my husband, tried this pear and gorgonzola thing on their menu, and was instantly transported to flavor heaven. I decided I was going to recreate this, and here is the resulting recipe! (With a few changes that really helped enhance the flavor.)
Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza” Ingredients
- 1 pizza crust (uncooked)
- 3-4 bosc pears
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 large sweet onion (cut from top to base…think the opposite way from onion rings)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- dash of salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella shredded
- 1-8 oz. tub of Gorgonzola cheese (the crumbly kind)
- 2 oz. chopped hazelnuts or walnuts optional (in my opinion, hazelnuts are better, but walnuts are definitely easier to find and a good substitute)
- 1 bag of spring mix salad
- ranch dressing
Step 1: Caramelize the onions. This takes the most time to finish, so you can get started on this and then get started on prepping other things while they finish. Heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Put in the sliced sweet onion with a dash of salt and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Add 1 tbsp of brown sugar (save the rest for the pears), 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, and a dash of pepper. Reduce heat to a low-medium and cook gently, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally–the sugar and vinegar will reduce and give these onions a beautiful candy-like coating on the outside. Once finished, set aside to cool.
Step 2: Prep ingredients. While the onions are cooking, get a 10×14 baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the pizza dough on top, stretching to the corners. Using a basting brush, coat the whole top layer with about 2 tbsp olive oil and set aside. (If you haven’t already shredded your cheese, now is also a good time to do so.) Pre-heat your oven to 425’F.
Thinly slice the 3-4 bosc pears to about a 1/4 inch thick. Heat the 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat and layer the pears into it. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar and let them caramelize for about 4-5 minutes or until the pears are soft. Avoid over cooking and having them fall apart. Pull off the heat and set them aside to cool.
Crust, pear, onion, then cheese.
Step 3: The Assembly. This is probably the easiest step. All of your ingredients are done for the pizza and you just need to put them on the dough. So! Layer the pears on first, being sure to cover as much of the dough as you can, leaving about a 1/4 inch of dough on the outside. (In this trial run, I only had 2 pears–it definitely needs more!) Follow with the onions, making sure they’re evenly distributed among the whole pizza. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of fontina, 1 cup of mozzarella, and about 5-6oz. of the gorgonzola onto the pizza and top with the hazelnuts or walnuts. Then throw it in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden.
Step 4: Prepping the salad and Serving. While the pizza is in the oven, grab your bag of mixed greens, wash them, and pat them dry. In a large bowl, add a little ranch dressing–just enough to coat–and then toss until the dressing is evenly distributed. Once the pizza is out of the oven, cut into desired slice size and top with the greens and some gorgonzola (and some extra nuts if you’d like). The pizza easily serves 4 and can be used as a dinner main course or a fun little appetizer with smaller slices.