Here’s a little Friday bonus which may come in handy if you’re trying to get a quick dinner on the table tonight. Make-your-own pizzas are always a hit in our house, though I question my wisdom when the kids load up with only things like pineapple and extra cheese. Regardless, it gets everyone gathered in the kitchen, talking about ingredients — and sometimes their day — and can be a quick and fun ending to a busy week.
We made two really good “adult” versions this week that I’d like to share, both of which start with a base of caramelized onions: one is caramelized onion, ham and brie, and the other is caramelized onion, fig and blue cheese. Though the onions will take about 45 minutes to an hour to cook down and become rich and sweet, everything else comes together very quickly. Recreate either, or both, of these and then let the kids go nuts making their own pizzas with whatever ingredients they feel like. I like to call these “pizzettas” since they are kind-of diminutive and almost dainty, and that seems to make them even more enjoyable. Everyone wins. Happy weekend!
Two Pizzettas: Caramelized Onion, Ham, and Brie & Caramelized Onion, Fig, and Blue Cheese
Ingredients (I’m not giving quantities here, really…just use as much of any ingredient as you want/need without overloading your pizzettas):
8-inch pre-made pizza crusts (Boboli, Mama Mia, etc.) – one per customer. You can also use small flour tortillas for a thin-crust version.
3 onions, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
For the Caramelized Onion, Ham and Brie Pizzettas, you’ll also need:
Sliced brie cheese
Good-quality deli ham, thinly sliced, or prosciutto, thinly sliced
For the Caramelized Onion, Fig and Blue Cheese Pizzettas, you’ll also need:
Several fresh figs, sliced into rounds
Crumbled blue cheese
For the kid’s pizzettas you’ll need whatever else your kids like as toppings. Some of our favorites include: shredded mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, pineapple slices, sliced tomatoes, olives, fresh baby spinach leaves….
You may also want a couple of sprigs of fresh basil to top the pizzettas, once they come out of the oven.
To make the pizzettas, start by caramelizing the onions. Heat olive oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften. Add a pinch of Kosher salt and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized. Stir often and don’t allow the onions to burn or they will be bitter. You’ll have about a cup of caramelized onions.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or whatever temperature the pre-made pizza crust package indicates).
To assemble the Caramelized Onion, Ham and Brie Pizzetta, take one pre-made crust and brush with olive oil. Spread on about two tablespoons of caramelized onions and top with several slices of ham and then several slices of brie. Bake pizzetta in oven for approximately 10 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt and become bubbly. Allow to briefly cool before topping with basil, cutting and serving.
To assemble the Caramelized Onion, Fig and Blue Cheese Pizzetta, begin as above by brushing a pre-made crust with olive oil, and then spreading on about two tablespoons of caramelized onions. Top with enough fig slices to get some figs in every bite, and then sprinkle on about two to three tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until bubbly. Cool, top with basil if you want, cut and serve.
Follow the same steps for the kid’s pizzettas, layering cheese with other ingredients. Bake as above.
Serves: However many you need!
Kid rating: depending on what they pile on, four stars. Not surprisingly, the tomato/pineapple/mozzarella/blue cheese version only got two stars. But Daughter 2 did get points for creativity with that one.
Parent rating: four stars. Not quite as good as ordering from our favorite pizzeria, but these are an incredibly tasty family activity that is perfect for a Friday night. Or any night, really.