Roasted Pear, Spinach, & Parmesan Pizza
This dish was inspired by a Twitter friend who mentioned she made spinach, pear, and Parmesan salad for Thanksgiving. That combination sounded amazing to me, except that I'm not a big salad/raw spinach fan. So after a Thanksgiving Iron Chef marathon, I went to sleep and apparently dreamt of the salad, because I awoke the next morning with the directive "Put it on a pizza!" in my head.
And then two opportunities to share this recipe arrived (hi Wendy and Elizabeth!), so I decided to write it up, because I so rarely come up with dishes of my own. So here goes. This is the first recipe I’ve ever written, and I’m adding my weird sense of humor to the writing, so ask if you have any questions. Straight instructions without commentary in bold.
- Pizza crust (whatever you like; I used a homemade honey whole wheat that rocked)
- 2 pears, cored and cut in large pieces
- 2 cups washed spinach
- Pinch of salt (sea, kosher, whatever)
- Grated parmesan (as much as you want to cover pizza)
- 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
- @2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (2 turns of bowl)
- Garlic powder (about 3-4 shakes)
- Ginger powder (2-3 shakes)
- Ground cinnamon (2-3 shakes)
- Grated nutmeg (as much as you want)
- Pinch of salt
- And because it's fun, music! (You have to listen to music when you cook. And dance and lip-sync. It's a rule in my kitchen...)
Step 1: Roll out dough on floured board or take pizza out of package if using a pre-made. You really need a thick crust for this, or perhaps I just made too much topping.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 400.
Step 3: Make the vinaigrette, since you’ll be using it on everything.
- Pour balsamic vinegar in a bowl and whisk in the olive oil.
- Add garlic powder, ginger, cinnamon, grated nutmeg, and salt, whisking in between and tasting to adjust the flavor to suit your preference. After grating the nutmeg, pause to use your microplane as a microphone and sing a few lines of the song currently playing. I was rocking The Distillers until I almost fell over…
Step 4: Core/chop pears in largish chunks and put in a mixing bowl. Pour about half the vinaigrette over pears and mix w/ hands. Place on cookie sheet and drizzle remaining vinaigrette from the mixing bowl over the pears. Roast in oven for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. I suppose you could just cut the pears as small as you want to use them on the pizza. I may try that next time.
Step 5: Heat large skillet over medium heat. Put 2 TBSP of the vinaigrette in and add spinach and pinch of salt, turning occasionally to wilt. You probably want to do this in batches like Rachel Ray suggests, but I didn’t and didn’t have too much spillage!
Step 6: Confession time: I forgot I was going to leave myself time for the pears to cool, but since the spinach was quickly overwilting before they were done, that didn’t happen. I just took the spinach off the heat for the last minute that the pears were cooking and danced to the Go-Gos.
‘Cause we got the beat, we got the beat, we got the beat!!!!
Step 7: Transfer roasted pears to a plate and cut them the size you want them. But try not to cut your finger as "Goddess' Revival" comes on iTunes and you squeal in delight (OK, maybe that’s just me, but that’s my song!). Add cut pears to spinach and stir to combine.
Step 8: Drizzle remaining vinaigrette onto pizza crust. Put the spinach/pear mix on the pizza crust and separate the spinach to distribute it evenly. Add grated Parmesan. Admire your work until you realize that you have no idea how to move this to the oven. Then thank the gods for Alton Brown and Good Eats and his "shake" technique. Carefully pick up any pear pieces that fall to the bottom of the oven so they don't burn and smell the place up too bad.
Step 9: Cook at 400 degrees until crust is cooked and cheese is melted. This took about 12 minutes for me.
Step 10: Clean up and hope for the best... <-- OK, that second part was just for me. You should probably still clean up, but you don't have to hope for the best. It's amazing!
Step 11: When cheese is melted and crust is done, take out of oven and let it sit about five minutes before cutting.
Step 12: Cut and enjoy. Be sure to do your best Food Network chef-when-they-taste-their-dish impersonation. I was channeling Giada tonight.
This pizza rocks. Looks very rustic but tastes amazing. The honey whole wheat crust was a perfect match for the sweetness of the pears. There was perhaps a bit too much topping; it was killer but it kept falling off. You can probably get away with 1 and a half pears and be good.