Monday, June 7, 2010

Pizza: Pear, Walnut, Blue Cheese, Arugula

Pizza: Pear, Arugula, Walnut, Cambozola

Before we left for Texas I was doing some fridge cleaning out. Most of the time for me that means pizza. You know I love to re-appropriate leftovers, and I think a pie is an awfully nice way to use your leftover bits and bobs. In fact, I think it's high time I added a "pizza" category to my index of recipes.

The thing is, we don't tend to eat a lot of spaghetti with red sauce, and I don't often buy mozzarella unless I am specifically planning to make pizza... so our pizza almost always ends up sort of "fancy." In this house, we call it sosh (pronounced like the first syllable of social*) pizza. Adam has this thing about The Outsiders, and by thing, I mean he often describes things as sosh. Maybe it's because he grew up near Tulsa. Except we're not Greasers, and it's not 1965, and this is not a novel, it is cooking.

So my point is, we rarely eat pizza margherita, more often than not we eat pizza entirely without red sauce. For this particular incarnation, I used sliced bosc pears, cambozola (a triple cream blue, like a brie with funk), and walnuts, and I piled some arugula on top for the last minute of cooking. Even if Ponyboy  and Soda would think me too posh, I thought it was awfully good.

*I had the darndest time trying to figure out how you write this out phonetically. Sowsh? Sewsh? S.E. Hinton goes with Soc, but I thought it looked like sock that way. Wordsmiths, a little help?

Pizza with Pears, Blue Cheese and Arugula
serves 2 with leftovers for lunch

I par-baked the crust this time because I didn't want the walnuts to burn. I liked the way it worked out, and I'll try it again for future pizzas.

your favorite pizza dough, enough for one thin 14 inch round
1 bosc pear, thinly sliced
a handful of walnuts, chopped
3-4 ounces Cambozola or other blue cheese, sliced
2 big handfuls baby arugula
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat your oven as high as it will go (mine goes to 500) with a pizza stone or upside down cookie sheet in the center. Give it at least a 15-20 minute pre-heat.

On a peel, a piece of parchment, or another upside down cookie sheet, stretch the dough to a 12-14 inch circle. Or a non-circle. No judgement here.

Slide the round onto the pre-heated stone and par-bake for 3-5 minutes, just until set. Carefully remove the partially baked crust onto the peel or cookie sheet. Top with cheese, pears, and walnuts, then put the pizza back in the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Meanwhile toss the arugula with the olive oil and lemon juice.

When the pizza is nearly brown enough for you, open the oven and carefully add the arugula to the pizza. Let it go for another 30 seconds to a minute, until the arugula is getting wilty. Remove from oven.

Let stand a few minutes so you don't burn your mouth on the molten cheese.


  1. I don't know if this helps at all with the spelling, but in academic circles sociology is generally shortened to soc and is pronounced the same way as your sosh. Just thought I'd share...also your pizza sounds delicious.

  2. Looks wonderful! What a great pairing!

    I've been to a couple of places that have done a similar pizza with a honey whole wheat dough and it was delicious.

    Great posting!!!

  3. I love your container garden. I'm impressed at how much you've grown from seeds. I've done lettuces before, but that's been about it. This year I expanded to chives so we'll see how well that works out. I've also been impressed with the sheer variety of things you were growing. I was unaware that that many things did well in pots!

  4. Eva, I will go ahead and say you are probably right... but I still think Soc looks like you should pronounce it "sock." Heh.

    Brian - honey whole wheat would be GREAT with these toppings! Good call.

    Kelly, thanks! I was unaware, too, until I got a copy of "The Bountiful Container," a book so useful I refuse to lend it to anyone. If you've got a balcony or porch you can grow a shocking amount of food. I hope Chicago is treating you well!

  5. Love Ponyboy! Starting my first container garden-thanks for the ideas!