Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hold the onions?

My sisters and brother had some very strong opinions about onions when they were kids. It wasn't that they didn't like the flavor of onions, which you could tell because they ate anything that had onions in it...

Unless they could SEE the onions.

My mother spent years scraping onions off McDonald's cheeseburgers with a french fry. We cooked onions and peppers separately to add to spaghetti sauce and steak sandwiches. And Mom made the ultimate mistake in leaving the veggies off the kids' pizza and having another pie completely decked out for those of us without unreasonable onion prejudice.

Pizza's a great way to disguise something like an onion, without actually hiding it. Cooked onions are sweeter than raw, and in my opinion, bring a lot more to the party. They don't have a jarring crunch or that pungent flavor. Plus with everything else going on, why not just put the onions under the cheese, present but not aggressive.

Or just go for it. Be in your face. Make an onion pizza that is unapologetically all about the onion. And damn good.

South of France Onion

Imagine thick little crockery bowls filled with rich broth and sweet onions, tucked under crusty French bread and a blanket of gooey, melted cheese. It’s a combination so lush, yet so simple, one story suggests it was created by King Louis XV himself on a hunting trip. Far from France, Georgia’s succulent Vidalia onions are perfect in the soup, or caramelized down to a rich onion jam to grace a truly regal pizza.

1 pre-baked pizza crust
2 T. butter
2 large Vidalia onion, sliced
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 c. apple cider
1/2 c. beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. shredded mozzarella
¾ c. shredded provolone
¼ c. grated parmesan
1 T. chopped parsley
1 t. thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pizza crust on baking sheet.
Melt butter and saute onion until translucent. Add sugar, cider, broth and salt and
pepper. Cook on low until syrupy.
Spread pizza crust with onion mixture. Toss cheeses together and sprinkle evenly
across onions. Scatter herbs over cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Extra Extra!

Root Rule – According to Federal regulations, to be called a Vidalia, onions have to be produced in a 14,000-acre area of Southeastern Georgia. Only 225 growers cultivate the bulb, a cousin of the lily, but that humble harvest has an estimated $150 million impact on the state’s economy. (Source:, L.G. Herndon, Jr., Farms, Inc.)

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