As a kid, “going to lunch on Saturday” with Grandma meant nabbing our fill of free samples from Sam’s club.
If we were lucky, there would be a variety of courses available. I liked to start with snack foods, followed by main-course fare and then finished off with a dessert and hopefully some kind of juice. I’m a little embarrassed to admit my love of free samples hasn’t changed. My sample venue, however, has.
The preferred place of sampling for me as an adult? Whole Foods. They take the cake on samples. This past weekend the market offered an array of grilled cheeses. Melted Brie drizzled with mandarin orange honey, grilled Havarti with Puttanesca dipping sauce–be still my heart. I was in foodie heaven.
Like a butterfly, I flitted from one station to the next only to finish my sampling with a plastic cup of dry, red wine. I felt ever so fancy. I’m sure Grandma would be proud.
The interesting grilled cheese pairings inspired me. What delicious ways could I reinvent a classic staple like grilled cheese…or better yet, pizza?
Since making cauliflower pizza crust, I’ve been shaping them into personal-pan sizes and trying all sorts of new toppings.
My latest: Bacon Pizza with Carmelized Onions & Honey. Yum. I made it for my husband, but I ended up sampling more than half. In my defense, it was a Saturday when I made it and on Saturdays I was meant to sample.
(1 cauliflower pizza crust, see recipe here)
1 pint grape tomatoes
~1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted butter to coat tomatoes
4 slices nitrate-free bacon, (preferably from foraged pigs)
1 small onion, peeled and sliced very thin
8 oz fresh mozzerella cheese, sliced very thin
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
raw local honey
Prepared crust according to directions here.
For the toppings.
Cut grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and toss with a little olive oil or melted butter in a bowl. Transfer tomatoes to a baking sheet and broil for about 3-5 minutes until tomatoes are soft and wilted. Set aside.
In a medium-sized saute pan, cook bacon until crisp over medium heat. Once crisp, remove the pan from heat and transfer the bacon to a paper towled/cloth towel lined plate and pat dry. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan.
Return the pan to heat and increase heat to high. Add the thinly sliced onions and cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and well browned. Once finished, transfer onions to a paper/cloth towel-lined plate.
On prepared pizza crust, single layer the thinly sliced mozzerella. Then spread the tomatoes over the mozzerella. Evenly distribute the onions, then crumble the bacon and sprinkle it across the entire pizza. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the meat and vegetables. Finish with a slight dusting of freshly ground black pepper.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, drizzle a little honey over the pizza, slice it up and serve it immediately.