Caramelized Onion, Feta and Sage Pizza

 

I picked up 20 pounds of Walla Walla onions last week–an annual perk from our bank.  This gift comes every year in July but receiving the postcard inviting me to reserve my bags of onions never fails to feel like a huge windfall.  Since the season for this sweeter variety of onions is fleeting (the onions grow in a low sulfur soil area lending to their sweetness and in turn a shorter shelf life) I try to enjoy the onions in as many dishes as I can.  There’s really no need to cook them at all–their sweetness and crisp texture makes them a delight as is–but 2o pounds leaves a lot of room for experimentation.

 

 

Walla Walla onions are grown primarily in the Pacific Northwest and  are actually a different strain of onion than the ordinary yellow and white onions that are available in our markets year round.  The sweet onion seeds were brought to the Walla Walla valley by a soldier from the French island of Corsica (one of my favorite places, ever) in the late 1800s.  Italian immigrant farmers liked their mild, sweet flavor and their winter hardiness and started growing them.  They have been grown on small farms between the Columbia and Snake Rivers and the Blue Mountains since.

 

 

Over the last few days these sweet onions have made their way into almost every meal.  They’ve been added mostly to salads but I’ve pickled several of them, too.  In a couple of days I will be able to enjoy the batch with sandwiches and even more salads.

For Sunday night dinner I decided on one of my go-to onion preparations:  caramelizing them.  Slow cooking already sweet onions makes them almost like candy after being on the stove for a half hour.  I originally had in mind to prepare a pissaladiére, a French onion tart with caramelized onions, garlic, olives and anchovies but I had pizza dough that needed to be used.  I rounded out the ingredients with other items I already had at home–feta cheese, sage and of course anchovies (I meant to add olives, too, but forgot).  This pizza still maintains some of the elements of a classic pissaladiére but I made it my own and I was very happy with the outcome.

I’m not embarrassed to admit that my pizza dough came from Trader Joe’s.  I used to make my own (a great recipe from Mario Batali) but when I read a recommendation from one of my pizza books that the TJ’s version is also good, I’ve used it since.  Feel free to make your own and if you have pointers on how to make a super-thin crust, I’m all ears.  That might be the only reason I’d go back to making my own pizza dough again.  Feel free to omit the anchovies if they’re not your thing but I really like them in pizzas.  Their saltiness offers a nice balance to the sweet onions here.  The sage leaves crisp up a bit in the oven and lend a bit of freshness to the deep flavor of the aforementioned two ingredients and the feta cheese.  A final drizzle of olive oil before serving and a carafe of wine on the side, I had a wonderful bistro-style dinner.

 

 

5.0 from 8 reviews

Caramelized Onion, Feta and Sage Pizza
 
This pizza is inspired by Pissaladiére, a French onion tart but my addition of Feta cheese and sage ought to make this a new classic.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s; one bag makes two personal pizzas. Feel free to make your own)
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • Fresh sage leaves (as many as you want)
  • Feta cheese (as much or as little as you want)
  • Anchovies (about 2-3 per pizza but you can leave out if you like)
  • Olive oil
  • kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare your pizza dough or if you are using store-bought like I am, take the TJ’s dough out of the bag and let it rest on a lightly-floured surface for about a half hour before you divide it and roll it out. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven as you preheat it, on the middle rack.
  2. While the dough rests and the oven preheats, prepare the caramelized onions. Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for about 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally until they’re deep brown and caramelized. I added a pinch or two of kosher salt 5 minutes before I turned off the heat. If you find that medium heat is not evaporating the liquid from the onions quickly enough, raise the heat to medium high. This will yield about 1½ cups of cooked onions so you’ll have a little extra for other dishes.
  3. To prepare the pizza, divide your dough in two and roll out with a rolling pin (or press by hand). Transfer to a pizza peel sprinkled with corn meal and arrange the toppings on the dough.
  4. Begin by brushing olive oil to the top of the dough then add one layer of caramelized onions. Sprinkle some feta cheese then add the anchovies and scatter the sage leaves on top.
  5. Transfer the pizza to the pizza stone and bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are golden. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil before serving.

 

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Comments

  1. I love sweet onions like these especially when you caramelising them has worked its magic. It’s such a wonderful combination too with the feta and sage. Beautiful pictures too.

  2. Beautiful photos Jean! I’m loving this pizza topping;-) You are so lucky to receive a windfall of Walla Walla onions from your bank, that’s something to look forward to every year! Caramelized onions with sage and feta sound wonderful and don’t forget the anchovies, just love this!

  3. Caramelized onions are one of my most favorite things – I have trouble not eating them all every time I make them! Gorgeous photos, Jean! Yes to everything on this pizza (except the anchovies ;) ). Hope you are having a great week!

  4. Hello!

    I just came across your blog today and from what I’ve seen so far, I’m going to like stopping by every morning :) These pizzas look so yummy and your photography is very nice.

    All the best and happy eats!
    -Pia

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Pia, that’s so nice of you to say, thank you! I’m glad you dropped by so I could be introduced to your blog, too. :)

  5. Jean, this is one stunning pizza! What a great flavors, I can only imagine how it tasted! My mouth is watering right now as i am craving that piece of art on your pics!:))

  6. I want to put money in your bank and recieve such a lovely treat. Love that we were both on the Pissaladiere kick and made our own versions. Yours looks incredible and I agree with you 100% that Trader Joes dough is just perfect which I learned from you a while back at your house. Stunning photos!!!!

  7. I adore caramelized onions, and you’ve transformed these already beautiful Wala Wala’s into something even more stunning and delicious. Just love the combination of flavors on the pizzas! (And I also love TJ’s pizza dough!).

  8. Caramelized onions make everything taste spectacular. I am no fan of fully loaded pizzas so this is really something for me. Love the combination of flavours, Jean.

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Adora, I’m the same way. I don’t like too many toppings on my pizza. It’s weighs the crust down too much. A Topping or two is plenty for me! :)

  9. Yum! This looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  10. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Caramelizing onions to me is the first step to a perfect dinner. You’re so blessed to get these amazing onions as a gift. It was neat to learn the history of the walla walla onions. I love this pizza…I really do. I also really want some now as a late night snack:)

  11. Nothing wrong with using a premade pizza dough. In real life, unless you are a chef or millionaire, most people march to work then come home exhausted from the day…there is little time to make pizza dough from scratch for dinner! I say, more power to you for buying (and admitting that you buy) pizza dough. Hey, I’m sure places like TJ and other specialty stores do a better job of making them – with type 00 flour from Italy (which is a flour that’s hard to find here in Canada). Truth be told, your pizza looks authentic and deliciously bubbly and crusty! Yum, Jean!!!!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Jen, the TJ’s pizza dough really is good. It’s not pre-baked and is very fresh so it’s almost like you made your own since it has to rest on the counter and be formed before use. It’s very convenient.

      I have 00 flour in my pantry waiting to be turned into pasta. If you ever want some, just say the word and I’ll send some your way. :)

  12. Those pizzas are so drool worthy! Thank you for admitting that you buy TJ’s pizza dough. Me, too! I make dough in my bread machine, but TJ’s has better flavor. I’m lovin’ all that caramelized onions… YUM!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Well, I’m happy to see I’m not the only TJ’s pizza dough fan! It’s so convenient and good, it’s worth admitting that I use it, LOL! :)

  13. The photo of those raw onions are amazing and the pizza sounds yum! Most friday night, I bake pizza at home. Will give this a try!

  14. Drool! There’s no shame in using store bought dough. If it’s good and you can save the time then who cares:) I’m not a food sob, hehe. Jean your pizza looks gourmet what a great way to use up some of those 20 lbs. of onions. Incredible!

  15. So scrumptious and beautiful! I love that choice of toppings. Now, I’m hungry like a bear… ;-P

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  16. Amazing! I’m going to try this with a homemade whole grain pizza dough!

  17. I absolutely can’t get enough caramelized onions, they are so worth the extra time it takes to make them. Your pizza looks divine, I usually try to make my pizza crust with whole grains to add more nutrition anyway I can. Great photos!

  18. This pizza contains all of my favourite flavours. As far as I am concerned caramelised onions are fantastic on everything. I especially love that beautiful photo of the onions. Gorgeous.

  19. This takes me along memory lane to a wonderful tart I had in England near Stirling Castle. It had exactly these ingredients and I have never forgotten it. I must make it now you have reminded me of it.

  20. Stunning pizza and photos! 20 pounds…oh wow :) I suspect we will be enjoying those beauties for awhile :)

  21. First of all: there is NOTHING to be embarassed about in using store-bought pizza dough!!! Second: I love your elegant styling here. Third: every vegetable should have an awesome name, like Walla Walla. Last, but not least, YUM!!!

  22. I also use Trader Joe’s dough, and keep telling myself to make it from scratch…but those “waiting” period totally screw up my busy daytime schedule. I might be out with the kids while dough need to be taken care of… etc. So Trader Joe’s “take out dough from fridge 20 minutes prior to use” is perfect for me. I’m going to make your pizza soon. I have a weak spot for caramelized onions and I still have feta left. Sage… I gotta get some if my neighbor (who shares her some herbs) doesn’t have any. =) Thanks for the fancy delicious pizza recipe! :-)

  23. Oh my, this looks like such a flavorful yet simple dish. I’ve been craving pizza for a few days and might have to try this tonight. Can any sweet onion be used? I don’t think I’ve seen Walla Walla here.

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Holly, use regular white or yellow onions, they’ll be just fine. I only have Walla Wallas once a year so I normally caramelize the regular onions and they’re just as good. :) Let me know how it goes!

  24. This is incredible. I love caramelized onions, and this looks amazing with a glass of wine!

  25. Yum! I’d make these without the anchovies. I bet the caramelised onions taste amazing, there’s some great flavours on these pizzas!

  26. I think you had just as much fun shooting them as you did eating them. Artistic inspirations indeed. GREG

  27. My husband and I made this last night for dinner and it was incredible! I substituted goat cheese for the feta and loved the tangy creaminess it added to the rest of the ingredients. Thanks for sharing this recipe. We are looking forward to making it again soon!

  28. This looks delicious!!! Yum… what a great combination of flavors!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] with more than I know what to do with.  I’ve caramelized several onions and used them in this pizza, I’ve sautéed them, tossed them in salads, pickled them and I still have more sitting on my [...]

  2. [...] Onions. Whether caramelized, baked, or sautéed, onions add a sweet and savory bite to any pizza slice. [...]

  3. [...] Onions. Whether caramelized, baked, or sautéed, onions add a sweet and savory bite to any pizza slice. [...]

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