Caramelized Onion, Pesto and Kale Pizza

January 18, 2019
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Photo by Justine C.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This combination of toppings is deeply satisfying, and essentially feels like the food equivalent of a hug. This recipe includes a hearty serving of greens, but I assure you the kale is there for flavour and texture – not virtue. It tastes incredible after being both lightly sautéed with the onions, then crisped up in the oven. I typically use a store-bought parsley and basil pesto for this recipe, but feel free to use your favourite one (whether store-bought or homemade). This pizza dough recipe is quick and easy to assemble before work in the morning. After it spends the day slowly rising on the counter, it’ll be ready for you when you get home. It’s much wetter and stickier than regular pizza dough, which is what helps it have such great texture and flavour. Instead of rolling it out, you will press it into shape with oiled hands. Don’t worry – it’ll be fun! —Justine C.

What You'll Need
  • For Dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (heaping) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water (more if dough feels too dry)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for oiling parchment paper and your hands
  • For Topping:
  • 3 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons cane sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 small bunch kale, washed, dried, stemmed and torn into bit-sized pieces (about 6 cups total)
  • 2 cups grated medium or aged cheddar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. For Dough:
  2. In a large bowl, combine the two types of flour, the salt, and the yeast, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the water and, using a spoon, stir ingredients together until combined. If the dough feels too dry, you can add a bit of water, one tablespoon at a time, until it feels right. Once dough is mixed, add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and stir again until just combined.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside on the counter to rise for 10-12 hours. The dough should be about doubled in size. (Please note that rising time will be affected by the room temperature. If your home is on the cool side, the dough may take a bit longer to rise.)
  1. For Topping:
  2. In a large frying pan set over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil.
  3. Add the onions, sugar, and a good pinch of salt, and sauté until deeply golden and caramelized, stirring often. This should take between 20-30 minutes. I usually turn the burner temperature down as the onions cook, to ensure they don’t burn.
  4. Once the onions are caramelized, add the kale to the pan, along with a pinch of salt and some ground pepper, and sauté for a couple of minutes, until slightly wilted. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Preheat your oven to 450° Fahrenheit.
  6. Transfer the dough to a floured countertop and divide it into two pieces. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then lightly oil the parchment paper. This dough is very sticky! Transfer each piece of dough to one of the baking sheets, then, using lightly oiled hands, press and shape each piece into a large rectangle or oval. (If you don’t have two baking sheets, just bake one pizza at a time.)
  7. Spread half the pesto on each rectangle, then top with the kale and onion mixture, then the cheddar.
  8. Bake until the dough is golden and cooked through, and the cheese is melted and bubbling - about 15 minutes.

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