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Author Notes: For the walnut-and-sage challenge, I thought I'd go for an onion -and shallot-laced savory flatbread-cum-pizza. I referred to Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking with Julia, for the dough, although I switched out some of the all-purpose flour for white-whole wheat. If you do this, you will probably need a little less overall quantity of flour. Of course, you can use any pizza-dough recipe you like, as long as you make enough for a 12" x 17" rimmed baking sheet. I liked her idea of using onions as a sweet and savory addition to the sage-walnut-goat cheese base I envisioned, but I used primarily shallots. I added a little tartness with my new main squeeze, Meyer lemon, along with a bit of the zest. —creamtea
Makes one approximately 12 x 17 pizza
- prepared pizza dough, purchased or home-made--enough for a 12" x 17" baking sheet
- 1 cup walnut halves, toasted in a rimmed baking sheet in a 375º oven for 8-10 minutes, cooled and coarsely broken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
- 6 shallots, halved and sliced lengthwise
- 3 fat garlic cloves, crushed with the flat side of a knife and minced
- 10-12 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped (3 - 4 tablespoons, loosely packed)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- freshly-ground pepper, about 15-25 grinds according to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon zest from a Meyer lemon (removed with a zester)
- juice from 1/2 Meyer lemon, strained
- cornmeal for sprinkling on the pan
- 5-6 ounces soft, fresh goat cheese from a log, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 450º (or follow directions on package of store-bought dough).
- In a large heavy saute pan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until it shimmers. Add onions and shallots and saute, tossing or stirring, until they turn golden.
- Push aside the onion-shallot mixture, drizzle a little extra olive oil, and add the crushed garlic, stirring, until it starts to soften. Add the sage leaves and toss all together, stirring until mixture is starting to brown slightly and is fragrant. Stir in the salt and pepper. Remove from flame and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, grease with a bit of olive oil and sift some cornmeal over.
- If preparing dough from scratch, when the dough is ready roll out a portion suitable for one pie on a large, greased cutting board to fit the measurements of the pan. Transfer to the baking sheet and pull and pat gently to conform to the shape of the baking sheet.
- Brush the edges of the dough with a little olive oil so they will not be tough. Spoon the shallot mixture over the dough, leaving a 1" margin all around. Top with the walnuts and the cheese; drizzle lightly with additional olive oil. Bake the pizza in the bottom third of the oven, about 10-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking, until edges are golden and cheese is browned in parts. Watch carefully to make sure the walnuts do not burn; you may wish to lower the temperature if the onion mixture, cheese & walnuts are browning too quickly.
- Remove from the oven, cut into squares, and serve.