The inspiration for this recipe came from a grilled cheese sandwich made by Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese truck on a recent episode of the Great Food Truck Race. The original sandwich contained caramelized onions and shallots, walnuts, granny smith apples and cheddar. People were lining up in droves and raving about the sandwich. "Clearly this combination of ingredients would work on a pizza", I thought.
The next step is transposing a grilled cheese sandwich into a pizza. The cheese and toppings are no brainers, however using regular pizza sauce would detract from the overall concept. Instead, I came up with a caramelized shallot roasted onion sauce. The recipe is simple, but takes time. The sauce turned out so zesty and delicious, that it could pair with poultry and fish or serve as a dipping sauce.
The final steps to pizza deliciousness are the dough and grill. Both white and wheat crusts were used to determine which flour is best. Ultimately, the whole wheat's hearty grain complimented the hearty ingredients perfectly, and is pictured below. (Note: There is an awesome pizza dough recipe on this blog, too!) The grill's smokey, outdoor flavor adds a nice kick to this classic New England mix of ingredients.
Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Onion Sauce Ingredients
Yields1 1/2 cups of sauce and makes four 10 inch pies
- 3 shallots, diced
- 1 large onion, quartered
- About 10 - 14 petals of garlic
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves broken from sprig
- 1/2 sprig of rosemary, leaves broken from sprig
Note: The ingredient measurements are per 10 inch pie.
- Pre-made: Purchase frozen from whole foods, able to split white into two 10 inch crusts, wheat creates one 14 inch
- Homemade pizza dough recipe
- Cheddar cheese, grated, 4 - 6 oz per 10 inch pie
- 1/3 granny smith apple, cut into thin small chunks, per 10 inch pie
- 1/3 medium red pepper, cut into small segments, per 10 inch pie
- 1/2 grilled chicken breast, pulled from the bone or cut in small chunks, per 10 inch pie
- Create the sauce
- Heat oven to 300 degrees
- Place onions and garlic on separate foil squares
- Cover onion and garlic with olive oil
- Loosely wrap foil around vegetables and place onto a metal pan
- Place pan into the oven
- Cook garlic for about 10 - 15 minutes. The petals will be soft to the touch.
- Cook onion for 45-60 minutes, or until well cooked, translucent brown and caramelized on the bottom
- Let vegetables cool, remove skin and place in blender, along with a 1/4 cup of water. Puree and set aside.
- Spray a large skillet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the shallots, a pinch of salt, 1 - 4 tbsp olive oil and 1/3 cup water in skillet on medium high heat.
- When water evaporates, reduce heat to medium, and cook shallot mixture until deep brown, translucent and well caramelized.
- If the shallots start to burn, reduce heat slightly and add a few drops of water.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion garlic puree, pepper, thyme and rosemary to the shallot mixture.
- Cook the mixture for 15-20, or until most of the water is cooked out. The mixture's thickness should be similar to red pizza sauce. Not soupy or watery, but also not dense.
- Assemble the pizza
- Spray olive oil or non-stick cooking oil onto foil and place the pizza dough on foil.
- Add the sauce, apples, red peppers, chicken and cheese to the dough
- Grill for 20-30 minutes on low to medium heat, until cheese slightly browns and crust is cooked.