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Pizza Night–Dates, Roasted Asparagus & Balsamic Onions

March 18, 2012

Edit: Whoops. Forgot about blanching the asparagus. Fixed.

I’m only about a month into this blogging thing and I know one of these weekends I’m going to jump the shark on pizza night, what with the desire to try different things for the sake of writing about them. I actually thought this weekend might have been the one, but Teresa said no, and I’m inclined to agree.

We’ll make this pizza again, although I may look to make changes, particularly on Teresa’s side of the pizza. I was thinking this would need another savoury ingredient, and the only thing I could think of that I thought would do the trick was prosciutto. Couldn’t give that to the wife, what given her pescatarianism and all. I did add some to my side.

Anyway, at the end of our meal, T. said exactly that, it was really good but heavy on the sweet side, and needed something savoury. I think some extra Gruyere might actually do the trick. I’ve doubled the amount in this recipe compared to what we had last night.

Anyway, let me know if you have any suggestions. It’s more extra prep than I’d normally do for a pizza, but it was worth it.  If a pizza covered in onions doesn’t sound like your thing, it certainly isn’t my thing, but these sweet balsamic onions are the exception.  They’re also really good as a base for bruschetta.

Pizza with Dates, Roasted Asparagus & Balsamic Onions

pizza crust (we buy the dough at the store, roll it out, and I cook it half-way before adding the toppings. That means about 8 mins in a 400 degree oven)
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 onion, sliced into strands
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, maybe more
6 stalks asparagus, woody ends discarded
salt & pepper
6 dates, pitted, sliced into matchsticks
6 slices prosciutto
7 oz Gruyere cheese, grated

1. Balsamic onions: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Warm 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Cook the onions slowly, over medium-low heat, until they’re limp, yellow, almost but not fully sauteed. Start adding balsamic vinegar at this point, about 3 tbsp at a time. Allow it to reduce and thicken, but keep the heat low and don’t allow it to scorch or burn. Keep adding balsamic until it’s all gone. The reduction should have the consistency of thick syrup. Remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile, bring a shallow pan of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus in the boiling water for two minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water. Place the asparagus in a baking dish or aluminum pie plate. Brush with olive oil, season with salt & pepper, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes, so stalks are starting to roast but aren’t dessicated. Remove, cut into 1-inch pieces.

3. Brush the pizza crust with olive oil. Spread the onion & balsamic mixture evenly over the crust. Add the dates and asparagus pieces. Top with prosciutto and Gruyere. Bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese is melted and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes.


From → Recipes

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