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Gourmet Pizza with Gruyere, Crispy Prosciutto and Caramelized Onion Puree

Mariel here. New York City is home to several famous slices, but it’s clear many Manhattanites have grown tired of the usual mozzarella-marinara combo. You can’t toss a garlic knot without hitting a menu touting “gourmet” or “artisan” ‘za. I’m all for it – everything tastes better when cradled by crispy, fluffy dough. Since the price tags of these fancy-pants pizzas typically preclude an any-given-Wednesday lunch, I’ve been experimenting at home by making my own. Some have failed, but others, like this one, will now be part of my weekly midweek rotation. This recipe was actually inspired by Williams-Sonoma’s Christmas catalogue. I sat perched on the couch basking in the glow of our 8-foot Tannenbaum and drooling over the ridiculously delicious holiday treats, when I saw a pic of a Gruyere and Bacon Pizza. WS isn’t usually my first stop for recipe ideas, but the picture of the pizza looked so good I figured I’d try and recreate it at home. While this is more of a “gourmet” pizza, I do like to follow the traditional pizza model and include a sauce. Stumped for saucy ideas, I decided to caramelize Vidalia onions with a little bit of balsamic then puree it in the blender to create a thick paste. Absolute heaven – and the sweetness served as the perfect showcase for the crispiness of the prosciutto (you can also use bacon) and the nuttiness of the Gruyere. You can eat this on your own or carve it into smaller bites and dish it up as an appetizer.

Gourmet Pizza with Gruyere, Crispy Prosciutto and Caramelized Onion Puree Serves 2-3 as a whole pie

Ingredients: Homemade or store-bought pizza dough – $2.25 1 medium vidalia onion, finely chopped – $1.09 ¼-lb thick-cut bacon or prosciutto – $2.50 Splash of Balsamic – stock 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided – stock 4-oz Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese, (yields about 1½ cups when grated) – $3.15 Ground black pepper Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $8.99 Cost per serving: $2.99 Directions: 1. Place the bacon in a large saute pan and heat over med-high heat until cooked thru – it doesn’t have to be too crispy just yet, that’ll happen later in the oven. Set aside on paper towels. 2. In the same saute pan, add 1½ tablespoons of olive oil to the bacon drippings and reduce heat to medium-low. Add the chopped onions and balsamic and saute for 25 minutes until tender and golden, stirring frequently and scraping along the bottom to prevent burning. Reduce heat as necessary. 3. Transfer the onions to a blender or food processor, add ½ tablespoon of olive oil and puree until fairly smooth. Set aside. 4. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Roll out your dough on a floured surface until you reach desired thickness. Brush edges with a bit of olive oil. Place rolled dough on a baking sheet and spread the onion paste on top, thinly. Sprinkle with grated cheese then top with the prosciutto/bacon. Season with a little fresh black pepper. 5. Reduce oven temp to 450 and bake for 8-10 minutes or until dough rises and becomes slightly golden around the edges. Cut and enjoy!