I’m gearing up for a triathlon on Saturday, which means I get to obnoxiously carbo-load all week long! Serious athletes would put a great deal of thought into what they eat the week or two before an event (or every day of the year for that matter). I am only concerned with eating enough, making sure I eat some carbs the day before, and staying away from Mexican and spicy food the night before a big race day (learned that one the hard way). This week’s meals are a good balance of carbs and protein. We start off, yesterday, with whatever I had in the fridge after a crazy fun weekend at St. George Island, and that turned out to be a caramelized onion pizza.
Caramelized Onion, Bacon, Thyme & Spinach Pizza
First, make your pizza dough. Yes, from scratch. I took this one from the now defunct Good Things Catered blog.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons EVOO
3/4 cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
In a food processor fitted with a steel or dough blade, process the dry ingredients once or twice. Drizzle in the water. Then add honey and oil. Process until the dough comes together as a ball; you may have to add more flour (I usually do).
Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead 5-6 times. Place in a bowl that’s been slightly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge. It needs about 4 hours to rise, and the good thing is it’ll keep for a week, and be ready to use when you are. If you don’t have 4 hours, do the traditional rise method: cover with a dish towel and place in a dark, warm spot for 45 minutes. Punch it down, then let it rise again for another 45 minutes.
Next: prepare toppings. I sliced up one onion, and caramelized it. That means I cooked it down in EVOO, with some salt, pepper and a dash of sugar, over medium heat (don’t get antsy and put it on high), until they are caramel colored. It’ll take at least 25 minutes, so pour yourself a glass of wine and sit back & stir. I also cooked up some bacon, and washed some spinach for the toppings. Since I haven’t totally destroyed my garden yet, I decided to add some fresh thyme to the mix, as well as a few dollops of ricotta (sounded good at the time, and it was good).
Roll out the dough into whatever pizza shape you wish. I went for a traditional circle last night. Place on a silpat or baking sheet, and top with a little marinara sauce, a light sprinkle of mozzarella, onions, spinach, bacon, more mozzarella, parmesan and thyme. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, and enjoy.