Pizza a la Julie

Pizza à la Julie

From Carrie Minns' blog, "La Pomme de Portland"

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 1 tbls butter
  • 1 large or 2 medium, onion(s), thinly, sliced – Walla Walla or Hermiston Sweets, if you can find them. Regular, yellow onions if you can’t
  • 3-4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
  • ½ cup crumbled, blue cheese – such as Rogue River Blue
  • 1/3 cup chopped, roasted pecans
  • 1 tsp of Herbes de Provence or 1 tbls of a variety of chopped, fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano and a pinch of rosemary
  • optional: salt & pepper, to taste

Begin by prepping your onion(s) to be sliced. Peel. Cut off the end(s). Then, heat/melt your olive oil and butter in a large, skillet over medium heat. Thinly slice your onion(s). Add them to your heated fat, stir them around to coat them in the mixture and then, turn your heat down to low. You can at this point add a pinch of salt and pepper but I usually just let the oil/butter work their magic with the sugars in the onion. Now, don’t be frugal with your onion(s). Trust me. It’s better to have more than you can ever imagine because they will cook down. Way down. Keep your heat on med-low to low and stir the onions from time to time. After about 20 minutes they will become translucent and take on an amber color. Take care not to let them brown too quickly or burn which will give them a bitter taste.

While the onions are caramelizing, you can sip wine and chat with friends slice your tomatoes and lay them out on a platter. Next, crumble up your blue cheese and have it ready. And, if I may, I’d like to suggest Rogue River Blue Cheese. This year’s wheels have just been released into stores and Rogue River Blue has the distinct honor of not only being made here in Southern Oregon but being known as the “Best Blue Cheese in the World” due to the numerous awards bestowed upon it over the years. I'm not sure how the Roqueforts feel about that, but let's go with it.

I was recently enlightened to the fact that, while pecans are available year-round, those pecans harvested in the fall are the sweetest and most moist. So, get thee to a store now and gather up some fresh pecans. You can choose to roast them the traditional way - 350 degrees, single layer on a cookie sheet, roast 5 minutes, stir, roast another 4-5 minutes OR you can do a little trick I learned for roasting all kinds of nuts when you’re short on time. Just pop them in the microwave for about a minute. Not quite the same, but it’ll do. Chop them up and set them aside. If you’re choosing to use fresh herbs, chop them up and set them aside also.

By now, your onions should be done. Put a “forkful” of them, and their delicious syrup, on each tomato slice. Next, sprinkle the blue cheese over the onions, then the pecans and finally the herbs and optional, salt and pepper. Serve them up to your friends and watch them swoon.

I do, in fact, serve these “pizzas” to my children and they inhale them. One difference, though, is that I put the blue cheese and nuts on the side and let the children decide if they want a more "purest" type of pizza or if they want to load up on all the goods.

Yield: About 12 “pizzas”

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