ain't your regular pizza

5:47 PM Sian Mei Yeoh 0 Comments

it has finally happened.

i made my first pizza a few nights ago - something that i've never made from scratch before. and i'm not talking about those lean cuisine personal pan pizzas or california kitchen frozen ones - those don't really count. i spend a few good hours trying to find good combination of toppings for pizzas but at the same time something different- no hawaiian bbq chicken (although i love those!) or any combinations that involved tomatoes.

then i came across this and i thought it was exactly what i wanted as the starting point so i could throw in my personal spin to it. one of the things i love about pizzas is that i can add any combination of my favorite ingredients for pizza toppings. but i wanted to go for something sorta healthy.

the toppings that i had i mind were arugula, portobello mushroom, goat cheese, proscuitto and caramelized onions. and with a generous drizzle of of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.  this covered almost all the six tastes. it initiates from the base peppery layer from the arugula paired with the sweetness of the caramelized onions which are topped the sweet/tart with drizzle of the balsamic vinegar, the savoriness and saltiness of the proscuitto, umami/meatiness of the portobello and the creaminess of the goat cheese.

the proscuitto i used was proscuitto di parma which i managed to find from fox&obel which is so delicious. the deli guy was generous to let me try a slice before i purchased it. since he asked if i wanted to try it, i wasnt going to say no..hehe. for those who have no pork restrictions, there are several substitution that can be found at your deli - from chicken to unsmoked turkey bacon which can add the saltiness just as proscuitto contributes to the pizza.

first thing i started was to caramelize the red onions in extra virgin olive oil and cook the mushrooms through since that process would take a while.  the "gills" on the underside of the mushroom were removed with a small spoon before they were sliced. i added about two teaspoons of sugar and salt & pepper to taste.

while i got that going, i preheated my oven and let my pizza dough rest at room temperature for about twenty minutes. okay, i took a short cut with that since i didn't want to bother with yeast and such so i bought my pizza dough from trader joes which was only a dollar.

i was going to try to form a round pizza but i didn't have a pizza stone and had to make do with my regular baking pan. so i came up with a pizza that i call rustic. hehe. i pre-baked the dough for 5 minutes before dressing it generously with toppings.

just before the caramelized onion and mushroom were done, i added the arugula to wilt it down a tad. i had to use baby arugula since that was the only thing i could find the stores. and it was time to add the all the ingredients onto the pre-baked dough. and to top it off, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

then it was into the oven for another ten minutes to baked the dough through.

the final product:

it was such a pretty sight with burst of colors. in fact, it looked so awesome that i just wanted to take a bite of the whole pie without even cutting a slice. needless to say, i was uber excited and proud that i made this :)

my verdict it was delish as it was pretty looking. it was almost how i imagined the flavors would combined beautifully but there were some room for improvements. 

the pepper-y flavor of the arugula was a lot milder than the full grown arugula which meant i need to find those regular arugula. and i thought that the overal flavor was missing some kind of herb punch. perhaps if i added thyme or oregano into the caramelized onion.  the other issue i had was that the dough was not browned on the top very much so the heat on the oven needs to be cranked up to about 450F instead of the 350F (which was as suggested on the back of the pizza dough package). and just a lil more balsamic vinegar would make this better :)

after smoothing out the few kinks, this recipe is definitely a keeper. esp when it has all the ingredients that i love.

if you'd like to try the original recipe by ellie krieger, it can be found on

my recipe spin off is as included here :) . the measurements might be off a tad so feel free to adjust as needed.

caramelized onion, arugula, mushroom, proscuitto & goat cheese pizza

ingredients |  
  • 1 store bought pizza dough
  • 1.5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 portobello mushroom, "gills" removed, wiped and sliced
  • 3 cups of arugula, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 ounces of proscuitto di parma
  • 2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
directions |  
  • preheat the oven to 450 degree F (i cooked at 350F which was too low of a temp)
  • put oil and onions in a medium skillet and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally
  • the sliced mushrooms were added as the onions starts becoming translucent
  • cook both of the ingredients for about 15 minutes until onions are soft and caramelized and mushrooms cooked through
  • turn the heat up to medium and add the arugula
  • cook until the arugula is wilted, about one minute
  • season with salt and pepper
  • let the pizza dough rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before forming it into a 12" diameter pizza (varies with pizza dough used)
  • prebake the pizza dough for 5 minutes.
  • top the prebaked dough with all the arugula, mushroom and onion mixture
  • crumble the goat cheese on top and distribute the proscuitto evenly across the pizza
  • bake for another 7-10 minutes or until the dough is golden brown since the other ingredients are already cooked through
  • allow to cool for a few minutes and now it's ready to be served

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others