{Recipe: Balsamic, Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza}

In a little over a month, I will be attending what will probably be my one and only food blogger conference this year.  In actuality, the Big Summer Potluck is less of a conference and more of a gathering of very enthusiastic foodies.  I didn’t attend last year, but from what I gather from everyone’s accounts of the event, it was a fantastic experience; filled with lots of food, wonderful seminars and loads of laughter.  Does it get much better than that?

Here’s the thing, though:  I hadn’t planned on attending this year.  But as I watched the tickets for the event sell rather rapidly, I just had to jump on the opportunity.  One of my big incentives for going (not that I needed much of a push), was the appearance of Debra from Smith Bites on the list.  We’ve been Twitter buddies for a while, but have expanded that relationship to e-mail chats about a variety of food blogger-related topics. She was also one of the people who was influential in getting me to redesign my site (and take the plunge and switch to WordPress)… and I have to thank her for that.

Debra is a kind soul, someone who is always willing to lend a friend a helping hand.  But not only that, she has a wonderful sense of humor and is never disturbed by my somewhat childish antics.  And now I’ll leave you in Debra’s hands… who was generous to write this guest post while I finish my travels.

In my community of blogging friends, I’m always amazed at how much these people are like family.  We share each other’s ups and downs, troubles and triumphs, and we always seem to be there for each other with a helpful word of advice or just to listen.  Oh…and we can always count on a good laugh!  Brian is one of these people that I truly love and laugh with.  His blog, photography and tweets are the epitome of love, warmth, humor and doggonit people like him!

So when he asked me to guest post, it was a no-brainer.  Of course!!  So, for Brian I have pulled out this oh-so-easy but delicious Balsamic, Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza that makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

The Professor and I love to grill pizzas on our Big Green Egg.  With the weather finally warming up, recipes like this become a staple for the season.  Like all good things Italian (and inspired by a Mario Batali recipe, no less), the ingredients are simple.  And like all good Italian pizza, less topping is more.  By sparsely layering the ingredients, each flavor in each bite has a chance to shine;  in one moment you taste a single ingredient, and in the next bite it’s a perfect symphony of all the flavors.  Be still my heart.

While I highly recommend the little cipollini onions for this recipe, you could definitely substitute a sweet onion you have on hand with similar results.  For a crispy yet tender crust, it is a good suggestion to par bake the crust before adding the ingredients.  Also, if the bottom of the crust gets done first, just put the pizza under the broiler to achieve the golden brown goodness pictured here.

BALSAMIC, ONION & GOAT CHEESE PIZZA

(from Vegetarian Times April/May 2011 and Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking, by Mario Batali)

INGREDIENTS:

BALSAMIC-GLAZED ONIONS

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. small cipollini or pearl onions, peeled
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar

PIZZA

  • 2 oz. fresh creamy goat cheese, softened
  • 1 Par baked Pizza Crust (use your favorite recipe or good store-bought)
  • Fresh Italian parsley leaves, for garnish
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

METHOD:

  1. To make Balsamic-Glazed Onions:  Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides.  Add onions, and cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until browned, turning once or twice.  Add vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 cup water, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Reduce to medium-low, and boil gently 12 minutes, or until onions are tender and liquid has reduced to syrupy glaze, turning occasionally.  Remove from heat, and cool.  (Onions can be refrigerated up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before using.)
  2. To make Pizza:  Preheat oven to broil.  Spread goat cheese evenly on Par baked Pizza Crust, leaving 1/2-inch boarder around edge.  Halve 8 Balsamic-Glazed Onions; reserve remaining onions for another use.  Arrange onion halves on goat cheese.  Broil 7 to 8 minutes, then sprinkle with parsley, and drizzle with olive oil.  Cut into 6 slices, and serve.

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foodwanderingsJune 12, 2011 - 12:09 am

Aww two of my fave people! Debra, amazing job. This pizza is to die for and I am sure to bookmark this recipe to make it this summer, soon!! Un fact would love a slice at right about now, few minutes past midnight.

Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }June 12, 2011 - 12:52 am

I believe Brian has left his blog in very good and capable hands. This pizza looks absolutely divine – a must try for sure. Just wish I had a slice right now and a wonderful glass of cabernet. :-)

Angie's RecipesJune 12, 2011 - 1:02 am

Balsamic onion, goat cheese, thin crust….that’s my dream pizza!

RosaJune 12, 2011 - 5:03 am

That pizza is amazing! I really like the wonderful flavor combination and the goregous crust.

Cheers,

Rosa

Lauren at Keep It SweetJune 12, 2011 - 6:56 am

Onions and goat cheese make such a wonderful combo and this pizza sounds amazing! Great guest post:-)

bunkycooksJune 12, 2011 - 6:59 am

I’m all for grilling pizzas outdoors in the summer heat! Leave it to Mario Batali to come up with a simple, but delightful flavor combination.

Kathy MercureJune 12, 2011 - 7:56 am

Mmmm… looks delish! I wonder if this will work on the barbecue? Don’t see why not! Thanks for posting, can’t wait to try it.

[...] so I immediately said OF COURSE!  For Brian I have pulled out this oh-so-easy but delicious Balsamic, Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza . . . it makes my mouth water just thinking about it . . . and, it’s a Mario Batali recipe . [...]

Maris (In Good Taste)June 12, 2011 - 8:18 am

My all time favorite cheese is goat cheese. Now combined with onion on a pizza and we have a winner!

Nancy @SensitivePantryJune 12, 2011 - 8:38 am

Mmmm. This one’s a keeper. I love to grill pizza. Now that I do it that way it’s kind of ruined me for any other type of pizza. Looking forward to seeing you both at BSP this summer!

JoanneJune 12, 2011 - 9:07 am

Brian. You? Childish antics? Really? I wonder what that says about the maturity of my antics… :P

This is an awesome guest post and a crazy delicious pizza! Those onions look so sweet caramelly fantastic.

ChrisJune 12, 2011 - 10:47 am

You had me at balsamic and goat cheese. First, Debra is the cutest gal ever, with her positively infectious smile and laugh! I am so bummed I missed out on the BSP tickets…would be so fun to see everyone.

Love this tart…and on the BGE! One day I will get a Big Green Egg…its headquarters are a hop skip and a jump away from me here in Atlanta.

:)

sippitysupJune 12, 2011 - 11:08 am

Another Big Green Egg fan! GREG

LizJune 12, 2011 - 12:10 pm

Mmmmmm….such simple yet fabulous pizza toppings. The thought of this yummy pizza has my mouth watering~

Barbara | Creative CulinaryJune 12, 2011 - 6:17 pm

No Big Green Egg but I put the pizza on the ‘cue’ and we love it. The onions are adorable too and I must try that; I’ve used caramelized onions a lot but now want these. Said it at Deb’s and will repeat it here. I haven’t touched a pizza with red sauce or sausages for quite some time; the olive oil, cheese and simple ingredients are so much more appealing to me. Yummalicious!

MikeVFMKJune 12, 2011 - 6:28 pm

Another great guest post! And this is the type of pizza that makes me think of sitting outside a quaint restaurant in Italy with a glass of vino and losing track of time. Mouth watering!

These onions are awesome!! What a great idea for pizza. I think I would just eat those as a side dish they look so good!

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenJune 12, 2011 - 8:35 pm

Happy to see Deb here Brian! Two of my favorite bloggers in the same place, doesn’t get much better than that.

LirenJune 12, 2011 - 9:06 pm

This is lovely, with my favorite toppings! I agree about not overloading the pizza and allowing each one to shine! And goodness, I have Big Green Egg envy right now!

MonetJune 12, 2011 - 9:40 pm

Two of my favorite people in one place…sharing one incredible recipe. I love the sound of this pizza (anything with goat cheese makes me smile) Thank you for sharing another inspired recipe. I hope you both have a wonderful start to your week. Hugs and love from Austin!

BarbaraJune 13, 2011 - 12:43 pm

Wonderful pizza recipe….exactly what I’d expect from Debra! She’s the best.

Nelly RodriguezJune 13, 2011 - 9:00 pm

Definitely yummy and unique toppings, love it!

KristenJune 13, 2011 - 11:26 pm

Bummed that I ended up not going to BSPL this summer now. Just can’t swing it, but I totally wish I could!
Deb – this pizza? Ah-maz-ing!

Lisa @ Tarte du JourJune 14, 2011 - 9:05 am

Great flavor combination! I just learned how to make goat cheese so I’m always looking for goat cheese recipes. Very nice post indeed!

sweetsugarbelleJune 14, 2011 - 4:16 pm

Oh this looks heavenly! So nice to meet you, Debra!

rebeccaJune 14, 2011 - 11:25 pm

wow what a fab pizza great guest post

Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionJune 15, 2011 - 11:31 am

This pizza looks lovely… Makes me want to fire up the grill for dinner!!

Looking forward to seeing both you and Debra at BSP! :)

Jean @ Lemons and AnchoviesJune 15, 2011 - 2:21 pm

Oh, my! This pizza looks wonderful and prepared with the BGE! I’ve heard so much about its many uses and all the food that comes from it looks so good. This is no exception.

TiffanyJune 16, 2011 - 9:07 am

I can eat pizza every day! Especially pizza with goat cheese!

Homemade PizzaJune 19, 2011 - 12:28 pm

[...] Balsamic vinegar, onion and goat’s cheese [...]

MeetaJune 20, 2011 - 4:17 am

Simply awesome. I am loving the flavors of this pizza and what a lovely post this is!

Andrew FrishmanJune 22, 2011 - 12:10 pm

Mnnn . . . I LOVES me some pizza, especially when it ain’t got no sauce!

Ya estoy deseando que este verano en Cape Cod y la oportunidad de construir pizza blanca con tocino y las almejas (que han sido recién extraído de la bahía)

Platanos Mangoes and MeJune 24, 2011 - 10:42 am

I am new here and I just love your blog. Have fun and loved this post.

[...] The cauliflower crust makes a very neutral base, so I recommend robust toppings like chicken tikka masala topping or goat cheese crumbles with balsamic vinegar glaze.  [...]

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