Week 17, Meal 2: Pear … pizza?

I know how Chef Brian does it – he’s a chef, duh – but it’s still always surprising to me when the weirdest sounding meal on the menu turns out to be fantastic.

Such was my luck with Week 17, Meal 2: Caramelized pear, fontina, prosciutto and arugula pizza.

And if you’re wondering about yesterday’s dough woes, I’m happy to report that I totally cheated my way around another carbohydrate car crash by turning my pizza into more of a flatbread.

Dough: 1. Niyaz: 1.

The Recipe (Yield: 2 pizzas)

2 rounds of pizza dough (recipe here)

Pear puree
3 ripe d’anjou pears
1 T apple cider vinegar

2 oz. fontina fontal cheese (usually comes in a wedge)
2 oz. prosciutto, sliced thin by the deli counter or butcher
about 1 oz. arugula

Start by making the pear puree. Peel 3 ripe d’anjou pears and cut into large chunks. In a hot saute pan (medium to medium-high), add pears and allow to caramelize for 1 minute. Stir or toss and allow to caramelize for another minute. Repeat one or two more times, until pears are soft and turning dark brown. Deglaze the pan with 1 T of apple cider vinegar. (Watch: How to deglaze).

Puree in a blender until smooth.

The fontina came in a large wedge, which I portioned into smaller pieces. I was having trouble with my knife sticking to the soft cheese so I used a grater to shave slices. You’ll use 2 oz. of fontina.

This is probably the time you should preheat your oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees.

Spread a generous amount of pear puree on the rolled out dough.

Split the cheese between the two pies and spread it evenly over the dough.

Bake until crust is golden brown and crispy on the bottom, about 8 minutes.

To finish, lay 1 oz. thin-sliced prosciutto on each pizza and top with arugula.

I was expecting bold flavors, but his was a meal where the components truly worked together. The sweet pears toned down the salt in the cheese, and especially the prosciutto. The peppery arugula, fresh and crisp, cut right through the light sheen of oil from the cheese and left a refreshing taste on the palate.

Not your everyday pizza, for sure, but try it once, and you’ll be craving it again and again.

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