Yesterday we had the first of many storms to hit the Bay Area. It was filled with heavy down pours and gusty winds. If you are familiar with the lay of the land in the bay area, you know that we have many counties relatively close together along with unique traffic patterns. Not too mention, quite a bit of traffic. I needed to be in multiple locations for various meetings for work. I actually traveled across different 5 counties during the day and covered quite a bit of distance. In the midst of my travels I contended with heavy down pours and strong winds along with highways that had built up water. It was quite a day indeed. The good news is that I made it home safely.
We are expected to have similar storms through Sunday this week. With that, it is a perfect time to make comfort food for our Friday Night Bites that we celebrate each Friday evening. Pizza and beer is a classic pairing and perfect for a casual evening at home. If you know me, I need to add the Authentic Suburban Gourmet spin. With my slight obsession this year with pumpkin, I created a pizza with roasted pumpkin and caramelized onion. I felt this combination was a marriage made in heaven. I tossed in some fresh sage leaves and really good white cheddar cheese. The result was a combination of savory fall flavors on top of rich crispy yet chewy pizza dough. Completely satisfying!
We have a tradition in our family that over the holidays, especially during Christmas, my brother brings the latest vintage of the AnchorSteam’s Christmas Ale. Each year a new recipe is created and varies slightly from the prior year. As the label at the top states for the 2012 vintage – “This is the thirty eighth “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, as is the tree on the label, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.”
With the rich, dark spiced ale, I felt this was a perfect pairing for the fall pumpkin and caramelized pizza. I made each pizza more of an individual serving size since it was just hubby and I; however, you could cut into smaller pieces and serve to a small crowd. The recipe is a bit “loose” so you can increase or decrease the amount of each ingredient you put on top to customize to your preference. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Caramelized Onion Pizza
Pizza dough (handmade or store bought) (I used Trader Joe’s)
1 Cup Roasted Fresh Pumpkin, cut into small cubes
1 Large Onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced thin
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon sugar
Fresh sage leaves
White cheddar cheese
Take one sugar pumpkin and cut into quarters and remove seeds and pulp. With a sharp knife, cut away the outside skin. Then cut into ½ cubes. Lay onto a sheet pan with sides and toss with olive oil and salt. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Slice a large onion in half, peel the skin and slice each half into thin slices. Use a large skillet. Over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter, then add the sliced onions, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, toss everything together to completely coat the onions. Stir frequently and cook until golden brown. Should be about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Shape the dough into mini pizzas or one large, your preference. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle desired amount of garlic powder over dough. Spread the desired amount of caramelized onions and then put the desired amount of the roasted pumpkin cubes over the onions. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the desired amount of grated white cheddar cheese on top. Add some of the fresh sage leaves over the cheese. Bake on a pizza stone for best results. Cook until the edges of the pizza are golden brown – about 15 minutes. Add a few fresh sage leaves prior to serving.