Has this ever happened to you: You have a meal planned for dinner, but something happens and then you don’t end up getting to it until a few days later. You go to start dinner around 5:00, only to realize that in the intervening days, a key ingredient has gone bad! What are you supposed to do? Pack up your three small kids and make a grocery run? Not worth it. Borrow something from a neighbor? In my case, the ingredient was pre-cut butternut squash chunks. I’m close with my neighbors so I wouldn’t mind asking, but I don’t think they’re likely to have any of those lying around. The meal in question was this roasted apple-butternut squash-onion pizza with a white bean puree for the sauce. It sounded really interesting…but, you know, without the butternut squash not quite the same. Faced with this dilemma, I decided it was time to switch gears a little. Having just (almost) finalized my Christmas party menu, which includes these puff pastry apple and caramelized onion bites, they were on my mind. I figured if it works on puff pastry, it’ll work on pizza, right? As a matter of fact, yes! The only thing I really wish I had added was some crumbled bacon. But that would have required a trip to the store…which, again, I wasn’t about to do. Fortunately, even without bacon, this turned out to be a really delicious vegetarian dinner. (But next time, yeah, it’ll include bacon. Here’s even an NPR article about why bacon makes everything better. ‘Nuff said.)
Caramelized Onion and Apple Pizza
3 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 2 medium onions)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough (or the bagged Trader Joe’s kind, which is what I always use)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
Make the caramelized onions and apples:
Melt butter in a medium to large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add apples and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are medium brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Prepare the pizza:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.* Spread pizza dough in a greased 10 x 15 in jelly roll pan. Prick dough with a fork and brush with olive oil. Place caramelized onions and apples on the dough, then shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle fresh thyme over top. Bake 8-10 minutes.
*Note: If using Trader Joe’s bagged pizza dough, I recommend pre-baking at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes. The dough will remain gooey if not pre-baked.