The Cottage Cooking Club is a group of bloggers working their way through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book River Cottage Veg. Each month, the tremendously talented Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness, chooses 10 recipes from the book, based on seasonal ingredients and variety of choice. The members then choose between 1 and 10 recipes to prepare and blog about. There are choices from throughout the book, ranging from the simplest preparation to truly company-worthy projects – with a couple of desserts thrown in!
This month, I chose to make Beet Pizza. Love beets, love pizza… What a great option. Now, I have to say that there are many folks who love the recipe for Magic Bread Dough in the book – and it’s the suggested dough for the pizza. I have been incredibly spoiled, however, by my brother Clayton’s pizza dough. I happen to think it’s the best on the planet – and I’m not just saying that because he’s my favorite youngest brother. Really, it is! He has a wood-fired pizza business with two different ovens – one installed inside a custom trailer food kitchen, and the other as a stand-alone one. His business, Pyromaniacs Pizza does to food truck events, but also catering and also food service at BYU football and other events. It’s the best.
But I digress. Since I am not as much a fan of the dough from the book, I decided that I would try out (again) the prepared dough that I could get here locally. I hadn’t used it in a long time and thought it was worth a try. I also went with the prepared roasted beets I buy, and some shredded cheese I had on hand. Caramelized onions are the other main ingredient – tomato sauce is optional.
Hugh uses a lot of caramelized onions – particularly for his pizza. I think they are fabulous, but often get too busy, or don’t think of them. I decided to make a big batch, even though I was only making one pizza at the moment. They are, of course, simplicity itself. Sliced onions slowly cooked until they are nicely browned. I often don’t quite take the time to get them as browned as I would like, but they are always delicious.
Once those are complete, the rest is easy. I heat my pizza stone in the oven (about 450 degrees for this) while I’m prepping the pizza. I’ve found that in my home oven, I really prefer to put the pizza on parchment and then on top of the stone. I don’t like the additional flour or cornmeal that (at least for me) is required to easily get the pizza in and out of the oven, so that’s what I did here too. The parchment gets really brown, but doesn’t seem to be a problem.
The pizza looked terrific from the oven. I wish I’d made the trip back to the store to get a different cheese (and I also think that just a bit of goat cheese would have been great here in addition to the required cheddar). Mine was a blend of good cheeses, but just not the depth of flavor that would have been good.
I tried mine with a drizzle of balsamic glaze to make a counterpoint to the sweet flavors of the beets, onions and cheese. It was good, but I think something like the vinaigrette we used for the beet tartine would have been even better. The tomato sauce might have done the same thing, I’m not sure.
This was certainly fun to make. I’ve enjoyed all of the different pizza combinations in the book. I need to make that dough and get it into the freezer! Because this is an easy, delicious lunch, or a light dinner.
If you’d like to see what the other members of the Cottage Cooking Club made this month – you can find the links to their blogs here.