Let me preface this with a confession: I was nervous about this pizza. My Saturday morning started with a huge fail on the baking front. I diligently got out of bed and headed straight to the kitchen to make some banana nut muffins, only to be rewarded an hour later with some burned shells surrounding an un-cooked core. I still don’t know what went wrong (I made the same muffins last weekend and they were fabulous!) but I suspected my oven. On top of that, I’ve never before made a pizza, and it seemed risky to start off with the cheeseless variety. Nonetheless, I was inspired by the vegan pizza selection at Whole Foods to take a stab at my own creation.....and my adventure was rewarded, because this pizza was delicious.
So let’s get started! Ingredients:
16 oz pizza dough
1 cup mixed black and kalamata olives
2 tblsp capers
2 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 large sweet onion
1 large red pepper
Prepare the white bean dip ahead of time following recipe at this link. This will be used as the "sauce" for our pizza. I substituted 3 cloves roasted garlic for the 2 fresh cloves, for a milder taste, and added 1 tblsp whole black peppercorns before processing in the food processor. Also, make sure you drain the beans very well before you blend, or your dip will turn out runny!
Now before doing anything else, we need to start caramelizing the onion (this takes 1.5 hrs).
Coarsely chop the sweet onion. Add 1 tblsp butter and 1 tblsp olive oil to a pan set over the lowest heat setting possible (yes, the lowest). Sautee the onion for 1 hour over very low heat, until the onions are wilted and yellow. Do not allow the onions to brown yet! After 1 hour turn up the heat to medium-low and sautee for an additional 20 min. This stage is when the onions begin to caramelize and turn brown. You can add a couple tblsp of white wine, which will help the caramelization process.
While the onions are cooking prepare the olive tapenade and roasted red pepper.
Put the olives, capers, parsley and lemon juice into a food processor. Process for just a few seconds at a time, mixing in between, until the ingredients are coarsely chopped and blended. For the red pepper, place in a baking dish set 5-6" below your oven's broiling flame. Broil at 525 F, turning periodically, until blackened on all sides.
Now for the assembly:
Preheat the oven to 500 F. Split the 16 oz pizza dough into 2 equally sized balls and set one aside to use later. Brush the remaining dough with olive oil and roll out to 10-12" round. Spread the white bean dip in a thin layer on top of the dough, then top with the toppings that you prepared. Bake for 10 minutes.
Now doesn't that look delicious? Enjoy!