I make pizza every Friday night. It’s become so much of a tradition for us that the employees of the shop where we buy our dough recognize us when we come in on a Friday afternoon. “Four pizza doughs, right?” they ask. I make four pizzas, or two pizzas and one larger, thick-crust focaccia-style pizza, and then we enjoy leftovers all weekend.
Sometimes I feel like I keep doing the same pizza toppings over and over again, so I decided to reach out to my friends on Facebook and see what kind of toppings they love. Here’s what they suggested:
- No sauce, garlic, sliced grilled chicken and red onions drizzled with BBQ sauce (from Kari)
- Flatbreads with mozzarella, pesto and sundried tomatoes (from Kari)
- Chicken parm pizza (sliced breaded chicken fingers with dollops of ricotta) (from Kari)
- Smoked salmon pizza (from Donna)
- Pineapple with either chicken, bacon, ham or ranch dressing (from Donna, Delia & Abbi) (and anything but Pineapple, from Sanjay)
- Sour cream base with ham, mushrooms, green peppers, three cheeses, herbes de Provence and black olives baked in a wood burning oven (from Judy)
- White sauce with caramelized onion, wilted spinach, bacon and a drizzle of balsamic (from Kim)
- Pesto, hot pepperoni salami and mushrooms (from Jana)
- Ham sandwich pizza: ham, pepperoni & cheese on a flat bread – folded over once it’s warmed up (from Erin)
- Bacon and onion (from Wendy)
- Asiago and Parmesan cheese with crispy prosciutto and arugula with a sweet balsamic glaze (from Dawn)
- Caramelized fennel and roasted mushroom (from Audrey)
- Fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and breaded eggplant (from Bonnie)
- Garlic, spinach and artichoke (from Grace)
- Honey and goat cheese (from Olivia)
- Arugula, fig, fancy cheese and balsamic (from Amy)
- Arugula, fig, and bacon (garlic too if desired) (from Lynne)
- Fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil (from Michelle)
- Olive oil, spinach, mozzarella, feta, red onion and tomato (olives if desired) (from Nancy)
- Minced garlic & olive oil sauce with sun dried tomatoes, ricotta cheese and spinach on top (from Beth)
- Mozzarella, pecorino romano and speck topped topped with fresh arugula that has been tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper (from Brian & Elizabeth)
And here are a few toppings suggested on the Weaver’s Facebook page:
- Pumpkin and ricotta pizza topped with mozzarella and sage (from Anita)
- Olives, feta and a little bit of mozzarella + an in-season veggie like spinach or fresh tomatoes (from Becky)
- Flatbread pizza topped with peaches, mascarpone cheese, fresh thyme and prosciutto (from Becky)
Plus here’s a few we’ve featured before:
- Fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, red onion, cherries and arugula with a balsamic glaze
- Sliced peaches with balsamic glaze and basil on a focaccia
- Asparagus, sundried tomatoes & Parmesan
- Focaccia with tomatoes, garlic, salt & pepper and parmesan
The recipe I’ll share below was inspired by a pizza I ate in Northern Italy – it was topped with fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, sliced pears and walnuts. Both hazelnuts and walnuts are popular in Northern Italian cuisine because it’s a huge region for growing these tree nuts.
I know that two of these main ingredients can be controversial as pizza toppings – you either love or hate blue cheese or fruit on pizza. I obviously love both. My husband likes fruit on pizza but isn’t too keen on blue cheese, so sometimes I make it with goat cheese instead. I’m sure it would be equally delicious with a cheese like fontina or gruyere too.
This season’s pears have been great and while pick-your-own pears will wrap up this Saturday, there will be plenty of varieties in the market to choose from! Current varieties, as of 9/28/17, are Bartlett, Sunrise, Gem, Bosc, Seckel and Magness.
So here’s how I make it:
- 1 pizza dough recipe (get our overnight dough recipe)
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella (if it is packed in water, dry it off very well with a paper towel)
- 4 oz. crumbled gorgonzola (or goat cheese, or gruyere or fontina)
- ½ a pear (any will do, but I tend to use softer pears like Bartlett)
- A handful of walnuts
- Olive oil and flour for the dough/pans
- Place a pizza stone (if you have one) in the oven and pre-heat to 500 degrees fahrenheit on the convection setting if you have one.
- Dust the dough with flour and press out on a floured surface. Work it with your fists or toss it in the air to stretch it.
- Oil a perforated pizza pan. Spread the dough on the pan.
- Break off chunks of the mozzarella and cover the dough, then add the gorgonzola and arrange the pear.
- Place the perforated pan in the oven on top of the pizza stone and watch it carefully for 5-10 minutes. When the cheese is beginning to melt but the pizza isn't totally done, bring it out and put the walnuts on top.
- Return to oven another 3-5 minutes until the crust is crispy and the cheese is bubbly and starting to become golden brown in spots. Remove it with a pizza peel and let it sit until it's cool enough to handle.
- Slice up with a pizza slicer or scissors.
Tip: to reheat the pizza and achieve a crispy crust and melty cheese, place it on a sauté pan on medium-high heat. If you prefer for the cheese to melt even more, cover it with a lid and heat it over medium heat. Watch our quick how-to video!