Pizza night will never be the same! This sophisticated Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Prosciutto, Kale Sprouts and Balsamic Drizzle is how to turn pizza night into a special occasion.
Mama Mia, did someone just put kale or something resembling it on my pizza?
They’re kale sprouts and I’m head-over-heels in love!
Kale sprouts (also called Kalettes® as a brand name) are just beginning to appear with regularity in produce departments. They’re different from baby kale in that they’re a cross between red Russian kale and Brussels sprouts and look like a miniature head of kale.
One doesn’t ordinarily think of kale as cute, however, kale doesn’t get any cuter than this!
If you can’t find kale sprouts, use baby kale or even shaved Brussels sprouts.
As if the kale sprouts weren’t enough…. Slowly caramelized onions sit atop a bed of mozzarella cheese along with salty prosciutto. These beautiful ingredients get an additional pop with a balsamic vinegar “drizzle” and crushed red pepper flakes for a touch of heat.
Caramelizing onions is a labor of love. It does take some time; however, the result is well worth it. Flavor-wise, there is no substitute for the low-and-slow stovetop method. Be sure to keep an eye on them and adjust the heat or add additional fat if it looks like they could be burning.
While the onions are caramelizing, work on the crust. I use Fleischmann’s® Pizza Crust Yeast, which is a rapid-rise yeast made especially for pizza dough. For best results, place the yeast in warm water with a bit of sugar and let it “bloom” for about 15 minutes. Then add flour, knead and let it rise in an oiled (covered) bowl for 30 minutes.
At that point, the dough has risen and I can stretch my effort and actually have enough for two 12-inch thin-crust pizzas. If you’re only making one pizza, bake the other crust, cool and freeze.
The pizza crust yeast is not supposed to give you any of that annoying “pull back.” Pull back is when the dough gets lazy and refuses to spread out. I still get a little bit of that, but just let the dough rest for several minutes before attempting to spread it out again.
A baking stone is an indispensable kitchen accessory for doing pizza at home. A baking stone pulls moisture from the crust and gives you a super-crispy crust. Because it’s not easy to get uncooked thin-crust pizza dough onto a hot baking stone and keep a nice shape, I spread the dough onto a round pizza pan and briefly bake it before topping. After adding the toppings, I then slide it onto the hot pizza stone to finish baking. (Bake the other half of the dough in a pan for the same amount of time as directed, cool, then wrap tightly and freeze for another pizza.)
A balsamic “drizzle” is simply balsamic vinegar sweetened with sugar or honey and reduced in a saucepan. You can purchase it; however, it’s easy to make yourself. Combine 1 cup balsamic vinegar with 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half and thick and syrupy.
- CARAMELIZED ONIONS
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions (11/2-2 pounds), halved and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- PIZZA CRUST
- 1 package pizza crust yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for bowl)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 2 cups kale sprouts, (about 4 ounces) halved
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 slices prosciutto, torn into pieces
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- Balsamic drizzle (purchased or homemade)
- CARAMELIZED ONIONS
- Heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or sauté pan. Add onions, stir to coat with fat, cover, then reduce heat to medium. Cook covered, stirring several times for approximately 30 minutes or until softened. (Adjust temperature or add additional fat to keep them from burning.)
- Uncover, add salt, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking another 30 minutes, stirring often until golden. (Keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.) Transfer to a colander or sieve to drain off any excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon fat in the pan.
- PIZZA CRUST
- While the onions are cooking, prepare the pizza crust. Whisk together yeast, warm water and sugar in a large bowl. Let stand 15 minutes or until foamy.
- Add salt, olive oil and flours and stir until blended. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes, adding all-purpose flour as necessary until you have soft dough that’s still a bit sticky and that springs back from the touch.
- Drizzle the bowl that you mixed the dough in with olive oil. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl, turn to coat with oil, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
- TO FINISH PIZZA
- Place the pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12-inch round pizza pan with cooking spray. Divide the dough in half, reserving half for another pizza. Spread the pizza dough over the bottom of the pizza pan. (If the dough pulls back at all, let it rest several minutes before proceeding.) Set the pan on the baking stone and bake for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the reserved oil mixture from caramelizing the onions in a skillet or sauté pan. Cook the kale sprouts 1-2 minutes with the garlic.
- Spread cheese over the pizza crust. Top with caramelized onions, prosciutto and kale sprouts. Transfer the crust to the hot baking stone. Bake 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and cheese has melted.
- Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and drizzle with balsamic drizzle. Cut into pieces and serve.