We have pizza every Friday, and it’s always a slight (enjoyable) challenge to come up with seasonal variations. In high summer, of course, we have a lot of pesto pizza. There’s a great spring pizza on page 53 of my book. During the colder months, this winter pizza is a treat.
Topped with a herb-filled tomato sauce (made from canned tomatoes), slightly sweet caramelised onions and fresh apples, and meaty mushrooms, it’s a fantastic cold weather dinner. Finish it off with some garlic and kale and you have something really excellent, and made with ingredients that can all be found locally at this time of year.
- Spelt Sourdough Crust: another pizza dough can be used if preferred.
- Tomato Sauce: we use a slight variation on this marinara, but Graham makes his own special pizza sauce we always use.
- Caramelised Onions: if you don’t want to take the extra time to make them, you can use raw onion (see below) but please take the time. It’s so much better.
- Apples: one or two, depending on size.
- Mushrooms: thinly sliced. Crimini are pictured but any mushroom you like can be used.
- Kale: sautéed separately (see notes) and added once the pizza is baked.
- Garlic: to cook with the kale.
Step by Step
Notes and Substitutions
The order of ingredients is important. Caramelised onions burn if exposed directly to heat, so they need to go under everything else. Mushrooms need more heat to reduce the water effectively, so they need to be at the top, and topped with a little olive oil and salt.
The onions are really key to this recipe, and I do encourage you to take the time to make them. Think of it as an addition to weekly batch cooking, if you do that, or something you can make on the weekend while doing something else (they need time, but very little supervision). If you absolutely can’t, very thinly sliced raw onion can be substituted.
I have tried topping the pizza with kale, for a crisp kale-chip kind of topping. It just burns, so it’s better to cook separately. If you don’t want this extra step, use a different green like chard, and layer it under the onions.
If you don’t feel comfortable making your own bread but still want to try this pizza, use a store-bought crust instead. We make pizza once a week and I find the sourdough to be handy as half the dough is frozen for the following week.
Top with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if you like a bit of acidity (that’s what I always do). Of course you could add cheese if you don’t need the pizza to be vegan, but it is very good without, and vegan cheese is a compromise at best.
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- Prepare the pizza dough in advance so that it's shaped and already had the second prove before beginning. Make sure the onions and tomato sauce are ready.
- Preheat the oven to 240°C (460°F).
- Top the proved dough with tomato sauce, followed by caramelised onions in an even layer. Add the apple, followed by the mushrooms, covering as evenly as possible.
- Drizzle the top of the pizza with olive oil and add a sprinkle of salt.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While the pizza is in the oven, cook the kale. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and de-stem the kale, tearing it into small pieces. Mince the garlic.
- Once the pan is hot, add a drizzle of olive oil, followed by the kale and garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the kale has wilted. If you want to, deglaze with some balsamic vinegar.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the garlic kale.
- Slice into triangles and serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for a day or two in a sealed container (I always simply store on the baking sheet, in the oven). To reheat, use the oven rather than the microwave.
This post was first published in January 2018. It has been updated with some improvements to the recipe as of January 2022.