Pita Pizzas w/Caramelized Onions

Pita Pizzas w/Caramelized Onions, Dried Cherries & Gruyère

I know that I’ve talked about Pam Anderson before, here and here, because she is the author of one of my all time favorite cookbooks, “How to Cook Without a Book.” The other weekend, when I was in San Francisco, I had the incredible opportunity to meet in person not only Pam but her two delightful daughters as well. The three of them author the blog, “Three Many Cooks” and just recently Pam released a new cookbook entitled, “Perfect One-Dish Dinners.” When she and her daughters asked some of us if we would cook from the book and then post a favorite dish, I didn’t hesitate. How could I possibly refuse one of my all time favorite cookbook authors?

As I mentioned above in my little narrative, I made from her book the Pita Pizzas, her Cassoulet-Style Italian Sausages and White Beans, her Baby Greens with Fennel, Blue Cheese and Red Onion and for dessert, her decadent, Gingersnap-Caramel Pear Parfaits. Each one was scrumptious in its own right but the clear winner in our family (including a stray neighbor boy who was over playing legos) was the Pita Pizzas…although, the Pear Parfaits were a very close second. With the holidays on the horizon, I can’t wait to set these appetizers out for guests. I can see mixing it up and using dried cranberries instead of the cherries or bits of browned pancetta. I did not soak the cherries in the kirsch since most of my “audience” was the under-21 bunch but I did add the cherries to the onions at about the 8 minute mark to soften them up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced. (I used one of Oregon’s Hermiston Sweet onions.)
  • 3/4 dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp kirsch (cherry brandy)
  • 4 large (7-inch) pocket-less pitas (These are thicker than ordinary ones.)
  • 2 c grated aged Gruyère cheese (about 5 oz.)

Directions:
Adjust rack to lower-middle position (in my oven, the middle position worked best) and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. And onion and cook, stirring frequently, until caramel brown, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat cherries and kirsch in a small saucepan over low heat until cherries soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Or, to do what I did, skip this last step and add your cherries directly to the onions when the onions have about 2-3 minutes left to cook.

Scatter a portion of onions and cherries over each pita, then scatter over cheese. Bake until cheese melts and crust is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Cut each pita into 8 triangles and serve immediately.

Yield: 32

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