Thursday, October 21, 2010

Prosciutto and White Bean Pizza

This pizza was inspired by Tuscan White Bean Burgers and Chorizo Pizza and is more or less a hybrid of those two recipes, as well as my desire to use up some odds and ends in my fridge and cabinets. Sometimes when my mind wanders I'll have a bolt of inspiration for a new recipe and I'll rush to write down my ideas before I forget what feels like a brilliant idea. Sometimes these turn out to be great recipes and sometimes I look back at the notes I leave for myself and wonder what the hell I was thinking. Luckily, this recipe falls into the former category. These non-traditional pizza toppings would also make a great panini, if you're not in the mood for pizza.

Prosciutto and White Bean Pizzaserves 4

1 onion, peeled
1 head garlic
1 T. plus 1/2 t. olive oil
15 oz. can cannellini beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 to 2 T. water
1/4 t. kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 c. pitted, sliced Kalamata olives
12-inch whole grain pizza crust
1 to 2 oz. sliced ham or prosciutto, cut into small pieces
1 c. shredded fontiago cheese

1. To caramelize the onions, tut the onion in half through the stem and slice into 1/8-inch-thick half-rings. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and add onion, tossing to coat with oil. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until caramelized, about 30 minutes. If the onions begin to burn, lower the heat. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, roast the garlic. Break the head of garlic into individual cloves and remove the papery skins. Toss the cloves in 1/2 teaspoon of the oil and spread out on a small baking sheet (a toaster oven works well for this). Roast at 300 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring the cloves frequently until the largest clove can easily be pierced with a knife. Cool slightly.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (or as directed on pizza crust package). Place 1 c. beans, and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth, adding water as needed to achieve to desired consistency. Add salt to taste. Spread evenly over crust.

4.  Distribute caramelized onions, remaining beans, olives, and ham evenly over bean puree. Top with shredded fontiago cheese. Bake at 425 degrees F for 8 to 12 minutes, or as directed on crust package, until cheese is beginning to brown. Let cool slightly and slice into 8 pieces.

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