whole wheat caramelized onion and pear pizza.

When Mr. Peaches is lucky, he gets homemade pizza for dinner.

The only thing we disagree on is the amount of cheese.

I like to lightly sprinkle my pizza with cheese so that it looks neat and pretty and I can actually see the other toppings I’ve placed beneath it.

Mr. Peaches likes his pizza oozing and dripping with blobs of hot melty cheese to the point of non-recognition.

We compromise.

I’ve been working on adapting this caramelized onion and pear pizza for a few years now.

It’s become our favorite we’re-feeling-fancy and want-to-eat-a-non-boring-vegetarian-pizza kind of pizza.

To combat my post-work hunger, I prepped this pizza a night ahead of time, covered it with a plastic lid and put it in the fridge, then baked immediately when I got home the next day for a super-fast dinner.

Genius, I know.

What’s your favorite kind of pizza?

Let me know!

Maybe you’ll get lucky and I’ll make one for you!

peaches and cake

Whole Wheat Caramelized Onion and Pear Pizza with Feta, Mozzarella, and Basil
Adapted from Taste of Home, October/November 2008                        
Onion caramelization tips from Simply Recipes

Makes 1 large 13″ x 8″ rectangular pizza or 2 medium 12″ round pizzas, about 12 servings

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  • One batch of your favorite pizza dough (my recipe below)
  • 3 medium red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Dash of salt for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (brown or white) + another dash of sugar (for pears)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar + extra for serving
  • 2 teaspoons + another 1 teaspoon + another 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 large pears, thinly sliced (And sliced again lengthwise if using a tall Bosc pear. I used Bosc but Bartlett is great as well. I leave the skin on but you can peel first before slicing if desired.)
  • ¾ to 1 cup shredded regular or part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup crumbled regular or reduced-fat feta cheese (regular feta melts more easily)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • About 12 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (or leave intact if you prefer)
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • cooking spray

*Steps 1 through 3 can be done a day ahead of time to save time.

1. Make one batch of your favorite pizza dough, or use my recipe below.

2. Using a wide, thick-bottomed sauté pan or pot, coat the bottom of the pan with about 2 teaspoons olive oil. Heat the pan on medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the oil. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally. Depending on how strong your stove-top burner is you may need to reduce the heat to medium or medium low to prevent the onions from burning or drying out. After 10 minutes, sprinkle a dash of salt over the onions, then add the sugar to help with the caramelization process. Add 1-2 Tbsp. water to the pan to keeping the onions from drying out as they cook.

3. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes more, stirring every few minutes. As soon as the onions start sticking to the pan, let them stick a little and brown, but then stir them before they burn. The trick is to let them alone enough to brown (if you stir them too often, they won’t brown), but not so long so that they burn. Use a wooden or metal spatula to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the caramelization proceeds. As the onions cook down, you can scrape the pan every minute, instead of every few minutes. Continue to cook and scrape, cook and scrape, until the onions are a rich, browned color. At the end of the cooking process add the balsamic vinegar or wine to help deglaze the pan and bring some a delicious flavor to the onions. Set aside or store refrigerated in an air-tight container.

4. Preheat oven to 450° F.

5. In a skillet (preferably non-stick), sauté pear slices in 1 tsp. olive oil  for about 4-5 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Sprinkle with a dash of sugar toward the end of cooking process.  Set aside.

5. Roll out dough into desired shape and thickness and carefully place on 1 large rectangular rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray or 2 medium round pizza pans coated with cooking spray. Trim edges of dough as necessary and tuck edges underneath to make a neat crust.

6. Brush dough with about 2 teaspoons olive oil. Spread evenly with onion mixture to within 1 inch of edges. Arrange pears evenly over onion mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella and feta cheese.  Sprinkle with dried oregano.

7. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle with basil and fresh ground pepper. 

8. Carefully slide pizza onto a large cutting board and slice with a pizza cutter. Serve with extra balsamic vinegar. Pairs nicely with a simple green salad.


Pizza Dough
A thick, chewy, and fluffy crust. Can be made white or part whole wheat.
Recipe from my mom
Makes one large 13 x 18” rectangular sheet pan pizza crust or two medium 12” round pizza crusts.

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  • 1 packet or 2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast
  • ½ cup + another ¾ – 1 cup warm water (105 – 115˚F)
  • 1 tsp. + another 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for rising
  • 3 cups white flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour, or 4 cups white flour (I use unbleached flour but all-purpose bleached flour yields a great result too)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Cooking spray or parchment paper

1. Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 tsp. sugar in a measuring cup and let sit few minutes until foamy.

2. Meanwhile, put 4 cups of flour and 1 tsp. salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse twice.

3. When yeast is foamy, add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the yeast, then slowly pour the whole mixture into the feed tube of the food processor while pulsing continuously.

4. Add about ¾ – 1 cup of warm water, ¼ cup at a time, as needed, until the dough releases from the sides of the bowl. Add more water if too dry, and more flour if too sticky, depending on your climate. You want the final product to be just a little sticky.

5. Remove dough from the food processor and pat into a ball. It should feel like a belly.

6. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in a medium bowl and roll the dough around in the bowl.

7. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about one hour.

8. Punch dough down and knead gently on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes.

9. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough to the shape you want and place on one large rectangular rimmed baking sheet or two medium round pizza pans coated with cooking spray. Trim edges as necessary and tuck the edges underneath to form a neat crust. (Alternatively, you can roll out on a sheet of parchment paper and use a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal to transfer to a pre-heated pizza stone.)

10.  Top with your favorite toppings and bake at 450˚F for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown.


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