Friday, 21 February 2014

What a Pear!

Pizzette alla Griglia con Gorgonzola, Pera, Salvia & Paprika Affumicata
Grill-Pan Pizza's with Gorgonzola, Pear, Sage and Smoked Paprika

Another lazy, Friday night snack of a supper here- but tasty and delicious all the same! Pear and gorgonzola- a classic combination and a crowd pleasure, it is no wonder that these wonderful little "pizzi" remind us just exactly why we love it so much!

I made the pizette (little pizza's) from super-convenient store-bought pizza dough, which I first quickly baked on a non-stick grill pan, before adding the topping of a mild Gorgonzola, some aromatic sage leaves, 1 extremely thinly sliced shallot and nice, ripe pear. Does that sound good to you? Does it float your boat as much as it did mine? Well good! Then pull up a chair and I will tell you how to make them!

I started off by cutting the pizza bases out using a sharp knife and "baking" them on a very hot grill pan for maybe 3-4 minutes from each side- just until the dough becomes firm enough to pick up and flip over. Don't worry if it is looking a little pale- raw even, except for those scorch marks as it is going back in the oven to finish later- but those scorch marks are what we want to have after all :-)

So, that was easy- now for the topping! The first thing we need is Gorgonzola, just 5-6 dabs of it here and there are more than enough. Even though this was a mild, "sweet" Gorgonzola "dolce" itself, it was still very rich. So less is probably more- especially as we can always add more cheese later. We would definitely have more of a hard time removing excess cheese than adding it after all!

Next- the sage leaves... 4-5 per individual, little pizza are more than enough- sage packs quite a punch after all! And now that we have the two ingredients with the strongest flavors, let's add 4-5 slices of sweet, ripe pear to balance things out... after all, that is the secret of great cooking, isn't it? The sweetness of the pear is really important to balance the extreme saltiness of the Gorgonzola- which becomes even more intense once it is melted and which is the reason we don't need to season these little beauties- so don't forget... no extra salt!

The shallot was the last ingredient, scattered here and there and pressed into the cheese a little- and then into the oven the pan went, at the highest temperature, for 5 minutes- just long enough for the cheese to melt. Once that happens, fetch the pizzas back out and press the pear, sage and shallot down into the melted Gorgonzola, so that it all sticks nicely together and becomes moist and juicy. Then pop it back into the oven for a further 5-6 minutes, until everything becomes a lovely, bubbly, golden brown- mmm!

The finishing touch is a sprinkle of smoked paprika powder, which gives the sweetness and saltiness a nice "lift" and keeps the flavors from being too heavy and one sided. Just a little of each ingredient is all you need to get a wonderful, tasty balance and to turn this tasty snack into a real treat. And for sure more fun than anything you can order from your local pizza joint... just sayin' ;-)


  1. Cacio e pere... what could be better? A match made in heaven. I'm intrigued by the paprika—unexpected, to say the least, but I like the idea!

  2. It has become one of my favorite spices lately Frank- I just figured it would be more fun than pepper and less harsh than peperoncino, give it a go if you are not familiar with it! I am pretty sure you will like it too ;-) best wishes, Francesco