Sunday, February 3, 2013

Flatbread Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Broccoli, Caramelized Onions, and Pineapple

Lots of roasting happened in the making of this pizza.

I like thinking of the oven as a "black box."  And unlike most metaphorical black boxes, I actually don't like to analyze this one.  Usually, I love thinking about the "why."  Which I'm sure my mom just loved as I was growing up.  Actually, I am still scolded for over-thinking things.

I could learn all the mechanisms by which browning occurs and so on.  But if I do, it would no longer be the mysterious box into which things are placed and then deliciousness occurs.  I've actually had a lifelong reticence to learning about such processes.  As a high school student, I got it into my head that I was not going to take chemistry.  I didn't, and it felt like such a victory.  I carried my anti-chemistry flag right through college and grad school.  I can be such a contrarian sometimes.  I have little doubt that learning some chemistry would explain a lot of the magic, but I obstinately refuse to get into it.

When broccoli and garlic and red peppers are doused in some olive oil, salt, and pepper and put into this magic box, loveliness happens.  So I let the oven work its magic...and then add some fresh pineapple chunks for a sweet, juicy counterpoint.

Roasted broccoli:
3 cups broccoli florets
olive oil
red pepper flakes
1 lemon wedge

Roasted red peppers:
3 red peppers, cut into quarters
olive oil

Roasted garlic:
1 head of garlic
1 tablespoon oil

Caramelized Onions:
2 onions, peeled, halved, then sliced

Roasted red pepper pizza spread
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 (15.5) ounce can cannelini beans
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
juice from 1/2 a lime
salt and pepper to taste
the roasted garlic
the roasted red peppers

1/2 cup grated extra sharp cheddar
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

about 1 cup of fresh pineapple chunks
2 flatbreads (we used Stonefire's garlic naan)

To roast the broccoli: Heat oven to 425. Place florets on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle red pepper flakes, salt, freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese over pieces. Roast for about 25 minutes, until pieces are soft and have that delicious browning on them. Remove from oven and squeeze fresh lemon juice over top.

To roast the garlic: Heat oven to 400. Take off the papery outer skin of the garlic bulb. Don’t remove all the skin, just the stuff that comes off easily. The head of garlic should still remain intact. Slice off the pointy end of the bulb to expose all the cloves. Place in a small greased ramekin and cover with the olive oil. Sprinkle just a pinch of salt and cover with aluminum foil. Place in oven and roast for about 45 minutes. The cloves of garlic will be all nice and soft.

To roast the red peppers: Heat oven to 425. Place red peppers on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle red pepper flakes, salt, and freshly ground black pepper over pieces. Once one side of the veggie has a nice brown color, flip; then continue roasting for a total of about 35 minutes.

To caramelize the onions: Place a tablespoon of olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion slices. Don’t stir too often yet. Let the pieces brown, without getting burnt. After about 15 minutes or so, once slices have mostly browned, I like to turn the heat down to low or medium low. Stir frequently. I like adding a bit of water or oil every so often to keep the pieces from burning or sticking too much. After about 40 minutes or so, the onions should have a dark brown, jam-like quality.

To make the red pepper spread: In a medium sauce pan, add oil, beans and their liquid, red pepper flakes, roasted garlic, and roasted peppers. Cook on medium low for 10 minutes. Season with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Blend with an immersion blender, and season again if needed.

To make the pizzas: Spread red pepper sauce on flatbreads. Top with cheeses, caramelized onions, and broccoli. Bake at 375 until cheese is all melted and the flatbread is getting crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Once it is done cooking, finish with fresh pineapple chunks.


  1. Over-thinking is so taxing! (So is chemistry.) Magic is much easier- and happier. :D This pizza is gorgeous and happy and, I'm sure, magical.

  2. What an outstanding pizza! All those roasted veggies add such delicious flavor....mmmmmmmm.....

  3. My husband, the lover of pineapple on pizza would be all over this. I love the flatbread too!

  4. I like the addition of pineapple. And the spread with roasted red peppers is a great idea. I am sure it tasted yummy:)

  5. oh how i love your combinations! I agree, sometimes it's nice to just enjoy something solely for what it is :)

  6. I did take chemistry in high school, and it always seemed like cooking to me. (With less edible results!) Looks like a great pizza.

  7. I am dying to eat this it looks way too delicious :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. What an abundance of flavors! I want to eat this flatbread pizza right now :) It looks amazing!

  9. Pineapple and roasted garlic. .. Yum.
    This sound awesome.

  10. I've taken quite a bit of chemistry and I can assure you that it offers no answers about the oven! This pizza sounds awesome. Love the topping combo!

  11. This is such a good idea! I was thinking of something to try and use up some broccoli I have and I reckon this is it!

  12. Looks so yummy. Broccoli and pineapple seem like a random combo, but I like the idea of it.

  13. Looks absolutely delicious, I wouldn't have thought of broccoli but I think it works so well!

  14. Wonderful meal...It looks delicious and sounds fantastic!Love all those ingredients....I would love to try that combination of flavors!

  15. Ooh, a roasted veggie foccacia pizza! Yum!

  16. this pizza looks amazing I could do with a late night slice

  17. I've never thought of using red pepper and white beans as a pizza topping! Um, you're kind of brilliant, Jenn. :)

  18. I really like the unexpectedness of the fresh pinepple with the other ingredients! Nice freshness/citrus to balance it all out.

  19. i love that extra sharp cheddar is on the cheese list. that plus roasting equals a huge winner in my books!!

  20. This is one tasty looking pizza. The sharp cheddar must have lend this pizza extra flavours.

  21. I love roasted veggies, what a great pizza!

  22. I'm not going to be able to stop thinking about this flatbread pizza until I get me some. Roasted anything is the best!


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