When Chris and I were farm-to-table eating and vineyard-to-glass wine tasting our way through Napa Valley the menus were just overflowing with yummy dishes I wanted to try.
Calistoga Inn is a fun and tasty lunch spot a short 2 block walk away from our B&B. They brew their own beer and have some delicious-looking pizza combinations. It was agonizing to have pick one only one! pizza. I soothed myself by promising to make the rest at home.
This recipe is a modified version of their Pere l’Autunno (which means autumn pear in Italian) pizza. This pizza is bursting with juicy pears and tangy blue cheese with a touch of sweet caramelized onions and peppery arugula. The toasted walnuts give the pizza a great texture, and the fresh mozzarella blends all the flavors together!
My go-to whole wheat pizza crust was a surprising complement to all the toppings, with its subtle hint of honey pairing perfectly with the pears, walnuts, and blue cheese. Just like the last yummy rendition, I divided the dough in half after the first rise to work with more manageable pieces.
Try pairing this pizza with your favorite beer or wine. The ingredients come together like a cheese platter with creamy fresh mozzarella, tangy blue cheese, toasted walnuts, ripe pears, and a drizzle of honey! Mmmmm!
Pear, Walnut, Blue Cheese Artisan Pizza
- 1 pizza dough crust that uses about 2 cups of flour split dough in half after the first rise*
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese thinly sliced or shredded
- 1-2 ripe pears sliced
- 1 ounce walnuts chopped
- 1/2 cup blue cheese
- 1/4 cup onions diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil for brushing crust
- Sprinkle of arugula
- Prepare pizza dough according to recipe and divide after first rise.*
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chopped walnuts in a single layer on baking sheet. Toast in oven until slightly brown, about 5-10 minutes.
- Place pizza stone or pan inside oven and raise temperature to 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
- Roll both pizza doughs out on a cornmeal surface. Brush with olive oil. Cover the pizza crusts in a layer of mozzarella cheese. Use all the cheese, equally distributing it over both pizzas. Top both pizzas evenly with pears, toasted walnuts, blue cheese, and caramelized onions.
- Transfer pizza to pan or stone and cook until cheese melts and crust turns golden brown, about 10 minutes per pizza. I cooked the pizzas one at a time. If you want to do both together, you’ll probably need to cook the pizzas a little longer. Keep on eye on them.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes, sprinkle with arugula, cut and serve!
*I recommend Naturally Ella's recipe. You’ll need a total of about 2 hours to prepare the crust: 30 minutes to make the dough, 60 minutes for the first rise, and 20 minutes for the second rise.