The most dependable combination of flavors that I can pull out has always been mushroom and caramelized onion. (That’s a lie. When I was 4 it was white bread crumbs and my nose. Oh, sweet manna from heaven!) I first learned how to caramelize onions when I was 13, just messing around in the kitchen while my mom was at work. For some reason I was a vegetarian, so I would always be on the lookout for interesting things to put on my Gardenburgers, like sun-dried tomato tapenade, pesto, fried shallots and — of course — caramelized onions.
I’d point to my burgeoning awareness of the Maillard effect as one of the formative events of my life. Onions that were hell to eat raw became sweet, with a little bit of salt, olive oil and low heat. I became a motherfucking wizard. The following recipe is easy, especially because I cheated with Betty Crocker’s help. Sorry! I’m working on making my own pizza crust, but it’s slow going.
Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizza
- Pizza dough
- 3 mushrooms, chopped (fewer or more depending on how much crust you’ve got)
- half of an onion, sliced (doesn’t matter which kind)
- Gruyere cheese, grated
- Mozzarella cheese, fresh if you can get it
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- olive oil
- parsley, chopped
- truffle oil
Prepare pizza dough according to directions (lol). Sauté mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil, maybe throw some salt and pepper in there, put aside. Caramelize* onions over low heat, throw some sugar on top to facilitate the process. Brush your pizza dough, which should be on a baking pan/pizza stone at this point, with olive oil and spread the onions on top. I like to put the Gruyere on top of the onions, and then layer the mushrooms with the rest of the cheese. Do what suits you. Bake for however long it takes for your crust to firm up. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle it with parsley and a tiny drizzle of truffle oil.
*PROTIP: To caramelize an onion, throw it onto a pan with salt and olive oil (or butter) over medium heat. You can also add sugar, especially if you’re not using Vidalia or sweet onions. Stir the onions occasionally until they get soft and brown. It’ll take a few minutes, so be patient!