The hubs and I took advantage of the recent three-day weekend to visit some of our good friends that live up in Alameda. They are quite awesome and know all of the delicious restaurants up there…so we took a chance on this neat little Italian place called Tomatina’s.
They have a special pizza this month, “Pizza Cipolla Caramellate Con Mele”.
AKA “Caramelized Onion, Cranberry, and Roasted Apple Pizza”
AKA “The Best Pizza I’ve Ever Had In My Life.”
It looked a little something like this:
yes, that would a photo of my leftovers that I re-heated and ate for lunch the next day. And obviously instagrammed. Because that’s what it’s for…pictures of your food.
Anyway. I thought a great deal about recreating it in my own kitchen (thanks to the urging of a couple dear friends of mine).
When I went grocery shopping the other day and found baby Arugula on sale for less than a dollar a package, I took it as a sign.
This is what I came up with:
Because I just love you all so much, I’ll share my secrets with you : )
I started off with my favorite pizza dough recipe (<– click that! it’s delicious.)
I made the full recipe, which produces enough dough for one 14″ (medium) pizza. But I split the dough in half and made two 10″ pizzas (one for me, one for le husband).
Here’s a short little ‘recipe’ for everything else I did!
Caramelized Onion, Cranberry, and Roasted Apple Pizza
adapted from what-I-tasted-at-Tomatina’s.
All of my super duper fancy ingredients.
Pizza dough (enough for one 10″ thin-crust pizza)
1.5 T Olive oil, plus more to brush on crust
4oz grated mozzarella cheese
1 small/medium onion, chopped thinly
1 medium apple (use a sweet variety, not baking apples. I chose Gala.) – peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2″ cubes
1/8 – 1/4C dried cranberries (I have a huge bag of ‘pomegranate infused Craisins’, so I used those. Still good, but I definitely prefer plain cranberries)
1C fresh baby arugula
Grated Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle (I used dried/preserved, fresh-grated would be delightful)
*these are just the measurements I used – you can adjust them to fit your personal taste!
I don’t have a functional pizza stone at the moment (mine has something funky stuck to it, so it smokes and smells terrible whenever I put it in the oven…), so this is how I did it instead.
quick word to the wise: I warped my pan while doing this because the oven has to be so dang hot. Haha. So, pick a pan you don’t care as much for, or use a higher oven rack, or turn the heat down to 475 or so and bake a little longer to try and avoid this. Or just get yourself a pizza/baking stone – it’s worth it.
Position a rack in the lower portion of your oven, and preheat to SUPER ULTRA CRAZY HOT. Or, 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit (but not broil). That works too.
Yeah, I forgot to move my oven rack before preheating, so this is what “lower portion” means in regards to me and my gas oven!
While oven is heating, caramelize yourself some onions.
First, chop them so they look like so:
Thin squares. Easy, because the layers of the onion peel apart to make the “thinly sliced” thing happen automatically!
Well actually, you can chop them up any old way you want. So long as they’re thin in the end : ) some people like long strips instead.
Heat 1.5 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet until it is hot, but not smoking. Add onions, 1/8t salt and a dash of pepper. Cover directly with a parchment round and cook until onions are soft and golden brown – about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally as this is going on.
And so it begins…
Covering Directly! Parchment paper is breathable, so moisture is retained but not too much. This process is somewhere in between using a regular lid and leaving the pan uncovered.
If this starts to happen (blackened/burning/crispy onions) – turn the heat down a touch and stir more frequently
BAM. Caramelized. Delicious. They smell SO GOOD.
Once that’s done, shape your pizza dough however your little heart desires and place atop a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Top with onions, diced apples, and dried cranberries. Sprinkle parmesan over all toppings.
dough – shaped and oiled
all of the toppings! I layered onions – cranberries – apples – parmesan – and an extra layer of mozzarella (because I like that)
Place baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and cook about 12 minutes, or until edges of crust are golden and cheese is melted. Carefully remove from oven. Allow to cool for a couple minutes, then top with baby arugula. Serve immediately.
Topped with Arugula and ready to slice!
TA-DA! That’s all there is to it! The toppings aren’t hard to prepare at all, and it’s super delicious (and dare I say, impressive?).
The only thing that takes up a bit of your time is the crust – unless you decide to go with store bought, which to be honest would probably still taste fabulous because this combination of toppings is so brilliant.
Or, with my favorite recipe I linked to up there, you can make it to a month ahead! Just freeze it after it’s risen : ) if you’re not that forward-thinking, it can be allowed to rise in a covered, refrigerated bowl for up to one day. Whatever make-ahead method you choose, be sure to allow the dough to come to room temperature before shaping it!
Let me know if you give it a go, or have any questions! Enjoy!