Who doesn't love pizza? You can literally put any topping combo (within reason) on a good crust, and it comes out delicious. Recently I overheard my husband talking to a friend about how he's missed "greasy pizza" since going vegan, he said that sometimes he's just in the mood for a pizza that takes him back to his adolescence. I thought about things I used to enjoy on my pizza, and immediately I thought of bacon. -What's greasier than that? I remembered that I had created a "Vacon Bit" recipe a few months back and thought that would be perfect! I also didn't want to go the traditional Italian route, because that's not the kind of pizza I would have eaten as a kid. I may not have eaten caramelized onions or mushrooms as a kid, but I'm an adult now, so this pizza does have those things. If you're making this for an actual kiddo and you know they don't like onions or mushrooms, just omit and add something they will enjoy. Anyways, last night I made this pizza and my hubby said it hit the spot, which I am thrilled about! So here we go, Vacon & Caramelized Onion Pizza!
Look at that! Doesn't that look like actual bacon? Granted, I haven't had bacon in over two years, but to me, this was very convincing. Let me know what you think!
What you'll need:
1 large Baking Stone
1 large Pizza Peel
1 room-temp Pizza dough, store bought* or homemade
1 batch Vacon Bits
1 batch vegan ricotta
6 oz button mushrooms, sliced (see photos)
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced root to stem
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, remove leaves and sprinkle on cooked pizza just before serving
mild flavored oil of choice for caramelizing and for brushing crust
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
Place baking stone in cold oven, turn heat to 500F.
Caramelize onions, garlic, and mushrooms in a cast iron skillet with a little mild oil and water as needed, until everything is tender and onions are a beautiful caramel color. (About 10 minutes.)
On a clean, floured/cornmeal-ed surface, flatten out pizza dough until it's just smaller than the size of your baking stone, brush with a bit of oil where toppings will go (going almost to the edge), sprinkle with a dash of sea salt and pepper. Spread 1/4 cup of ricotta on the dough, leaving about 1/2 inch uncovered for the crust. Evenly distribute tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, sprinkle with parsley, cover with enough vacon bits to get heavy coverage, but not so much that they fall off when using the pizza peel to transfer in and out of the oven. -You can always add more after baking.
Bake for about 6 minutes, or until crust is bubbly and dark golden brown (bonus if it chars in some places!) Top with fresh thyme. Enjoy!
*Save left over ricotta and vacon bits in the fridge for up to 7 days. Ricotta goes great in lasagna, pasta, sandwiches and on toast. Vacon goes wonderfully in salads, soups, spreads, and baked potatoes!
* If you live in or near Dallas Texas, please visit Jimmy's Italian Food Store, it's far from vegan, but they have a delicious, authentic, house-made pizza dough in their frozen section that is only $2. (Crust pictured.) They also carry great produce, pasta, olive oil, and canned goods, most shipped directly from Italy. It's well worth the drive!