I’m often guilty of picking out the large pieces of radicchio in my mixed greens salad and putting them on Dustin’s plate for him to enjoy. I’m just not a huge radicchio fan, but I won’t give up on it that easily! I think all vegetables deserve a chance. Determined to like radicchio in all its bitter glory, I decided to use it as a pizza topping. I thought that its bitterness might be toned down a bit if it was balanced by the sweetness of caramelized onions with a touch of balsamic. I was right! We intended for there to be dollops of fresh ricotta on top of this pizza, but when we opened the container, the smell and taste was a little … off (even though we just bought it yesterday!) Not sure what happened, but we had to abandon our hopes of having that creaminess to balance the sweet and bitter flavors. Luckily, the end result was still fantastic, despite this minor cheese mishap. When the pizza came out of the oven, we threw some fresh chopped basil on top, which added bright, summery flavor to every bite. The underlying sweetness from the onions and bitterness from the radicchio was a pleasing one. Radicchio, I think we can be friends.
Radicchio, Caramelized Onion,
Ricotta & Basil Pizza
1 white onion, thinly sliced
a splash of Balsamic vinegar
your favorite homemade or store-bought pizza dough (enough for 1 12-14 inch. pizza crust)
extra virgin olive oil
chili pepper flakes, to taste
a couple big handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 a head of radicchio, thinly sliced
fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to at least 450 degrees.
- Caramelize your onions: Heat 2 TBS. of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When it foams, add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add a little salt to taste, and a splash of balsamic. Stir to incorporate. Turn off the heat and transfer onions to a small bowl (can be done ahead of time – just cover and refrigerate).
- Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface into a 12-14 in. circle. Transfer to a pizza peel that is dusted with cornmeal (or flour).
- Drizzle with olive oil and use a brush (or your fingers) to distribute evenly around the pizza. Sprinkle a little Parmesan on top, as well as some chili flakes. Scatter the mozzarella cheese, followed by the caramelized onions and sliced radicchio. Top with dollops of ricotta (if you’re luckier than I was!)
- Transfer to pizza stone in the oven and bake until cheese and toppings are nice and bubbly, and crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Top with basil. Cut into slices and serve.
And what did Levi think of this pizza? I’ll let this picture speak for itself (taken after dinner):