Taking an onion and cooking it for a long time over moderate heat does something magical. The pungency so distinct to the onion is totally mellowed into a sweet, caramel flavour, and the texture becomes tender and silky. The only trick to success is patience; the sweetness must be gently coaxed out - this is something you cannot rush.
Once you have accomplished your feat of patience, oh boy, are you in for a treat. They are delicious as a topping for grilled steak or chicken, simmered with beef broth into a french onion soup, or piled onto a burger or sandwich - or, one of my favorites, on a pizza.
Making homemade pizza feels like an undertaking, but if you've got a bread maker, it's a cinch! Just plunk the ingredients into the machine, put it on the "dough" setting, and let it whirl about and rise comfortably while you paint your toenails, run to the market for onions, or walk your dog. Perfect dough every time, ready to be shaped.
Oliver was not impressed with the absence of meat on this pizza. That's his you're-a-traitor face.
Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza
1 lb pizza dough (recipe here)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano
2 tbsp soft goat cheese
1/2 bag baby spinach (two large handfuls)
1 large sweet yellow onion (about 1 lb), halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil + additional for brushing pizza
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
cornmeal or flour, for dusting
1. Place a baking stone or overturned baking sheet on the lower-middle rack of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown; about 20 minutes. Add vinegar and stir till evaporated. Season to taste with salt. Transfer onions to a bowl to cool, and add spinach leaves to saucepan; cook, stirring frequently, until just wilted. Set aside.
3. Stretch pizza dough to desired shape and size. Remove baking stone or sheet from the oven. Dust with cornmeal or flour; position dough on top. Brush dough with olive oil; top with mozzarella and parmagiano cheeses, then onions and spinach, and dot with goat cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes, until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling in the center.