Bring the Garden in Friday with Pizza with Red Onion, Rosemary, and Hot Pepper

I can't resist these little rosemary trees at this time of year. I don't cook from them, but I love to have them indoors for their fragrance.

This recipe caught my eye because of the rosemary. I don't usually associate rosemary with pizza, and with my bush as one of the few things thriving out there in the cold, it seemed like a good choice.

If you're new here, I think I should tell you that rosemary is my favorite herb. I'm always looking for different ways to use it apart from the usual roast potatoes, chicken and focaccia. Patricia Wells' Trattoria is also one of my favorite cookbooks.

This recipe calls for a very thin pizza dough (a Sardinian Parchment), but I wanted to make something a little more typical. I might suggest, however, that you use dough that can be rolled to 1/8 inch. This topping, despite the chile peppers, is somewhat delicate, and thick dough will overwhelm. This recipe makes enough topping for about 1 1/2 pounds of dough. Lately I've been making smaller pizzas, using 1/2 pound of dough for each, and I find I have more control rolling out that amount.

Pizza with Red Onions, Rosemary, and Hot Pepper
adapted from Patricia Wells' Trattoria

1 large red onion (about 10 ounces), sliced into very thin rings
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
Your favorite pizza dough

1. In a large bowl, combine the onions, oil, salt, crushed red peppers, and rosemary. Stir to coat the onions with oil and to distribute the herbs and spices evenly. Set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours. The marinating will soften the flavor of the onions and will give the topping a more finished flavor.

2. At least 40 minutes before placing the pizza in the oven, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If using a baking stone, place it in the oven to preheat.

3. Roll out your dough to desired size, and as thinly as possible.

4. Place the rounds of dough on a baking sheet or stone. Spoon the onion topping onto the dough, spreading it out evenly with the back of the spoon. Bake until the dough is crusty and browned and the onions are sizzling, about 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your dough. Serve immediately.