Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vegan Caramelized Onion Pizza

I've had periodic vegan stretches in my life, and these were not years notable for my enjoyment of pizza. No-cheese pizza is usually a depressing disappointment. But it doesn't have to be. It takes time (and thyme), but you can make an entirely vegan pizza that will leave nobody feeling the slightest bit deprived. Caramelized Onion Pizza is Henry's worst nightmare (he calls it "Ucky Slimy Bits Pizza), but to me it's a dream come true.

Vegan Caramelized Onion Pizza 
Makes a 16-inch pizza. Serves 4.

1 recipe pizza dough (try this one - you won't be sorry!)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds onions, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon thyme
generous pinch black pepper
optional pinch cayenne pepper
7-ounce jar roasted red pepper, drained well and chopped
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and halved

Prepare pizza dough and set aside to rise.

Warm olive oil on medium heat in a deep skillet, add onions, garlic, bay leaves, and salt, and stir until it sizzles. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 50 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500.

Uncover onions, remove bay leaves, add thyme, pepper, and optional cayenne (and more salt if necessary), increase heat to medium and cook uncovered for 10 more minutes to brown onions and evaporate most of the liquid. Turn off heat and stir in red pepper and olives.

Press pizza dough into pan. Spread onion mixture on top, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the perimeter.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Let pizza cool a few minutes before slicing and serving. Try it with a cold glass of rosé.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Let Jake Eat Cake

Now for a short pause in the cooking lesson proceedings while we commemorate a slew of Lovesmiths milestones: Henry is graduating from 8th grade; Jonah, just home from his first year of college, landed his first job and will turn 19 in a few days; and Jake got tenure at Northwestern. We have been doing our fair share of celebrating, but things took a greater turn for the festive when our friend Dale Lawrence arrived up at our apartment last week bearing an Atomic Cake. I am an okay baker, but there is nothing I could make that approaches the gorgeousness, deliciousness, or outrageousness of this south side chocolate/banana/strawberry/vanilla/cream classic. I can't imagine a more appropriately celebratory slice of food.