Saturday, December 02, 2006

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #11

For this edition of Weekend Cookbook Challenge, Sara has chosen the very appropriate theme of Party Food. At this time of the year, we're probably ripping our hair out wondering what should we cook for those end-of-year and festive gatherings.

I've chosen a book, funnily enough called Party Food and it's put by Australian Gourmet Traveller. Perhaps it was seeing all the wondrous onion recipes for Onion Day that lead me to make this particular dish.

Yes, it's a pizza but a pizza with a difference. It's topped with caramelised onions and in this case, Blue Cheese (the original recipe calls for goat cheese) but it's not the topping that sets it apart.

It's the rosemary oil.

Fresh rosemary and garlic is added to olive oil and heated, releasing all those wonderful aromas. It then sits overnight to allow maximum infusion of flavours. This oil is then used in the pizza dough and drizzled over the pizza before cooking. What results is a depth of flavour from top to bottom that you won't find elsewhere.


Caramelised-onion and Blue cheese Pizza with Rosemary Oil

Rosemary Oil:
½ cup olive oil
4 small sprigs rosemary, bruised
2 cloves garlic, halved

Caramelised Onion:
50 grams butter, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large Spanish/Red onions, halved & thinly sliced
120 grams Blue cheese (or goat cheese), crumbled

1½ teaspoons dry yeast
pinch of sugar
¼ cup lukewarm water
300 grams plain spelt flour (or plain flour)
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup lukewarm water, extra

Make Rosemary Oil:
Place oil, rosemary sprigs and garlic loves into a pan and cook over medium heat until it sizzles. Remove from heat, cover and let it sit for a few hours or overnight.

Make Caramelised Onions:
Melt the butter and oil in a large pan, then add onions - cook over a medium-low heat, stir often. This will take about 45 minutes - the onions will collapse and become very soft. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool before using.

Make Dough:
Place the yeast, sugar and 30 grams of the flour and ¼ cup water into a bowl - stir and cover. Let it stand in a warm place until foamy - about 10-15 minutes.

Place this into the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook, then add the remaining flour, salt, ¼ cup of the rosemary oil and ¾ cups water - mix until it forms a smooth ball.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead briefly - it may be a bit sticky, just add a little more flour - the dough is quite a soft mix, so don't be too worried. Just as long as it's not sticking to your hands you should be fine.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rise for about 1-1½ hours or until doubled in size.

Assemble Pizza:

Place the risen dough onto a lightly floured board, give it another brief kneading - it's a very malleable dough. Pat it out to form a rectangle then roll it out to fit a 23x30cm (9x12 inch) shallow oven tray. You could just place the dough in the pan and ease it out to the right size just by using your hands. Dimple the dough slightly using your fingertips and trim any excess dough.

oven ready

Spread the onion mix evenly over the top, then dot the surface with the cheese. Drizzle over with rosemary oil and rosemary leaves.

oven ready

Cook in a preheated 200°C oven for 15 minutes - remove and slide the pizza from the tray and onto an oven rack. Cook for another 3-4 minutes to crisp up the base.

To serve, cut in half lengthways and then into finger-width slices.


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  1. So deliciously looking! Well-done Haalo!

  2. I use this combination of garlic and rosmary in pasta, but this looks heavenly!

  3. I love pizza and with onion even more!

  4. With blue cheese and rosemary I'm sure your pizza tastes as great as it looks in the photos! Great photos btw.

  5. Thanks WP! It disappeared very quickly.

    Thanks Plume!

    Thanks Zorra!

    Thanks Burcu - the blue cheese gives it mushroomy taste.

  6. wow.....that looks far exceeds a generic pizza in taste, I can totally tell.

  7. Thanks Nabeela - it makes for really good finger food, so much flavour in a small bite!

  8. Haalo, what a beautiful and different way to serve pizza, I love the idea!

  9. Thanks Patricia - it's pretty simple and you can make lots of this quite easily in all sorts of flavours - great for entertaining.

  10. The photos are beyond words! And all those wonderful toppings!

    Somehow my rosemary plant has survived the cold so far and I'm going to snip some to make my own rosemary oil. I particularly thank you for that!!

  11. Thanks Ruth! I hope you enjoy the Rosemary Oil!

  12. AnonymousJune 29, 2007

    Hello! I just landed here via a link to this post on Kalyn's Kitchen. I was curious as I've been making a very similar pizza since last autumn. I love the idea of the flavored oil in the pizza dough. It sounds delicious, and I'll definitely have to try it.

    I'm also looking forward to reading more of your posts. And thanks for putting up that oven temperature conversion chart! : )

  13. Hello and Welcome Susan and I hope you enjoy your visits here!

  14. Ok because this looks and sounds delish...I will be making this for Friday nights cocktail party also..Thanks again...I love this site!

  15. This is delicious! Although I must have sliced my onions a little thin as they were slightly overcooked after cooking the pizza. The dough in this recipe is going to be a definate keeper for me. Thanks for the recipe Haalo


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