On Sundays my friends and I gather for dinner. Usually there are 8 to 10 of us and we take turns hosting. It is very informal, people just host whenever they have the time, but it works out really well and we probably have at least 45 SNDs a year. This week it was a smaller group than usual because lots of people were still traveling back to Chicago after Thanksgiving with their families.
I think I was inspired by some of the food I sampled yesterday at the tasting for my wedding. One of our favorite items was a crostini with a pear, blue cheese, and a candied pecan. I started thinking about how that could translate into an appetizer for SND. I decided to make a pizza because it can be quickly assembled and cooked once I get to my friend's house. I want to focus on healthier foods between Thanksgiving and Christmas so I thought of ways to reduce the amount of fat in the recipe. I used wine to caramelize the onion and poach the pear, and decided to use goat cheese because it has less fat than blue cheese.
You will need:
1 large white onion
2 d'anjou pears
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
6 teaspoons Marsala Wine (or White Wine)
1 fresh ball of pizza dough (available at Trade Joe's and Whole Foods)
4 oz. goat cheese
fresh pre-washed spinach
2 tablespoons flour
Candied Walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then caramelize the onions - first chop the onions into long thin pieces. In a frying pan over medium heat combine 2 teaspoons Olive Oil and 2 teaspoons Marsala Wine. Add the onions. Stir every couple minutes, until the onions are golden brown. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Remove onions from the pan and set aside.
Poach the pears. Start by slicing the pears. Then in the same pan you used for the onions, melt 1 teaspoon butter over medium heat. Add 4 teaspoons Marsala wine, then add the pears. Cook the pears for about 7 or 8 minutes until they are golden.
Dust your countertop and rolling pin with flour. Then roll out the pizza dough. I roll the dough out into a large square and bake the pizza on a baking sheet. Lightly flour the baking sheet to prevent the dough from sticking.
Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Then remove from oven and top with the spinach, onions, pears and goat cheese. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Then sprinkle the walnuts on top, slice and serve.