Caramelized Onion and Ham Pizza is just what you want to throw on the grill this summer
Yesterday, we woke up and realized (happily) that we had no agenda in front of us all Sunday.Malibu is gray, so we decided Jump in the car Drive along the coast for an hour to arrive Santa Barbara. As a Texan, I have not yet become accustomed to the fact that we can spontaneously drive one or two hours to countless beautiful places and then go home on time for dinner. Ojai, Santa Ynez, Laguna, or even Palm Springs? California feels like our weekend playground, and I’m here for that.
Anyway, once we arrived in Montecito, we had the best time to explore the town, stroll the Butterfly Beach, and most importantly, found a pizzeria I’ve heard of Bettina, Serves wood-fired Neopolis-style pizza, as well as salads and side dishes piled with fresh California produce. It is difficult to choose between Margarita or Pepperoni with Ojai Wildflower Honey, Truffle Cheese and Maitake Mushroom or Caramelized Onion with Sausage and Castelvetrano Olives.Once we place Our order, I can’t help but fold up one of the menus and hide it in my wallet (calm down, this is a paper menu!)
You see, it’s like I like an incredibly burnt Pizza doughIn my pursuit of the perfect pizza, it is also important to discover the combination of ingredients that are magically combined, not just the sum of their parts. Usually they are simple-it’s hard to beat the finest margaritas with fresh tomatoes and very good mozzarella cheese-but sometimes it is an amazing combination of sweet and savory, fresh and savory, making You sigh happily and want more. This is exactly what happened when I ate my caramelized onion and ham pizza with arugula. This is the pizza I have been making and loving since 2010. (Is this the slogan of my new pizza restaurant? Hmm…) Let’s get started.
Caramelized Onion Sauce
Sweet caramelized onions cooked for an hour are the secret behind this incredible pizza. Once you realize how easy and delicious caramelized onions are to make, you can start doubling your batches so that you can store some in a mason jar in the refrigerator at any time.I like to keep them on hand and use to sprinkle on toast and scoop in spaghetti, Or used as the base sauce for this caramelized onion and ham pizza.
The secret to perfect caramelized onions is patience. You add the thinly sliced onions to the wok, one teaspoon each of salt and sugar, add a pinch of thyme and a little balsamic, and then cook on low heat for at least one hour. If they start to dry out, you can add a little water to the pot at any time. You know your caramelized onions are ready when they are golden brown and jam. The only difficult part is not to eat them directly from the pot with a spoon.
For this pizza, I like to use creamy fresh mozzarella cheese-you can tear it open with your hands, or you can cut it into thin slices and melt it on the onion. If all you have is pre-shredded Motz, it’s completely fine. Just add a thin layer that will melt and it will still be delicious.
How to bake a pizza perfectly
I learned how to grill a pizza while participating in the “cooking training camp” CIA in Napa Valley Years ago. Our chef instructor gave us a brief introduction on how to use the grill to make a charred crispy crust, even if you don’t use a grilled pizza oven, I have been doing this ever since.
The secret is to prepare a double-sided grill, which means you heat one side to the highest possible temperature while keeping the other side of the grill at a low temperature. The goal is to use the high temperature side to obtain charcoal and then move it to the low temperature side to fully cook the pizza and melt the cheese without burning the whole thing.
The recipe card below explains how it is done, but it’s easier to watch its actual effect: View My video on IGTV is here (I will post it tonight!)
Another tip for perfect grilling pizza is to close the grill lid as much as possible. This means working quickly when placing the pizza on the grill and adding toppings. When the grill lid is closed, it generates convective heat, which is closer to the type of heat you get in a pizza oven. This simply means YUM in layman’s terms.
End with freshness
When the pizza I make contains richer ingredients (such as caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese, and prosciutto), I have to add spicy, bright ingredients at the end to balance it. After adding a few handfuls of arugula and thinly sliced ham ribbons (I prefer to add the ham after cooking because it becomes a bit “gamey” during cooking), I added a little lemon juice and some lemon zest, and then added On top of some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a drop of EVOO.
I really have nothing to say about this pizza, except: it’s so perfect!If you don’t have a grill or would rather make this indoors, skip right here Because of the way I bake pizza in the oven (and my mouth watering Spinach and Ricotta Pizza Recipe.) If you are looking for my foolproof Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe, Find it here!
Scroll to see the recipe for this caramelized onion ham pizza with arugula…