Caramelized Onion & Prosciutto Pizza

It looked so promising yet it was such a disappointment. You see, recently C’s roommate cooked up a delicious-looking and smelling pizza  she had found on the Pioneer Woman’s blog.  We decided to give it a shot due to its relative simplicity and appearance.

The recipe was very easy when we made a single alteration. Instead of making our own pizza dough, we followed C’s roommate’s lead and used Indian naan bread. Naan is available in many grocery stores. It’s soft and tasty, and was ideal for a “flash pizza” like this one. You see, we only needed to warm the pizza enough to melt and meld the toppings together since nothing needed to be cooked. So it actually saved a great deal of time and effort.

With the pizza dough handled, the only other challenge was cutting the red onion. The recipe calls for very thin slices that are long. Taking a knife, I cut the top and bottom parts off a red onion and then cut it into rings as thinly as possible. Once done, I ran the knife down the center of all the rings, splitting them into noodle-like strands. This took five minutes.

By using naan bread and this cutting technique, this meal was one of the fastest but fancier dinners we’ve ever made. The onions were caramelized within minutes while we sliced chunks of mozzarella and scattered them on the naan. And when the pizza was assembled and put into the oven, we set a timer for 8 minutes rather than 15.

The final product.

The results were gorgeous to look at. The cheese was perfectly mixed with the richly colored ingredients. It cooled enough to be eaten within a minute. I was really looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, the taste was a letdown. It’s strange and sad, but the two things that made this pizza so unique were, in fact, the two major downfalls.

The caramelized onions were simply too powerful and too sweet. They were all we could taste when we bit into it. And the prosciutto was weak. I thought for a while it was simply the brown sugar of the onions coating the prosciutto, but when I picked up an individual piece and bit down, I discovered it had lost a lot of flavor.

C and I spent some time analyzing what went wrong and figured that the writer must enjoy an incredible amount of sweetness. In the future, we will reduce the amount of brown sugar. And second, either I will find some substitute for the prosciutto or find a better brand. The prosciutto would have benefited from some added time in the oven to allow the slight crispiness Ree describes on her blog, but the naan would have burned if we added too much time.

Despite these setbacks, what emerged from the recipe was a good idea. While the prosciutto and caramelized onions were not to my liking, the use of the naan bread crust and torn mozzarella cheese are both a fantastic building block for a better pizza: Faster and better quality.

C and I will be talking about what kinds of toppings we could use in the future.  Arugula was suggested in the blog comments as a means to counteract the sweetness of the onions with bitterness. I made a mental note to add garlic to the pizza. For whatever reason, if you go to a Neapolitan pizza place, they charge an exorbitant amount of money just to add garlic to a pizza, when you add minced garlic at home for perhaps $.15.

Another joy of this pizza is that it would be an extremely ideal appetizer choice. It’s easy to make, reasonably priced and quick. To such an end, I will have to invest in a pizza cutter.

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