Caramelized Onion Pizza with Sweet Potato-Walnut-Basil Pesto

This is an improvement on a recipe I have been making since last year, when I found something similar in “Food and Wine” magazine.  My innovations include: adding more flavor with the walnut-basil-sweet potato pesto (the original just has a sweet potato sauce). I’ll break the recipe into 3 parts–the dough (you can buy store bought, but i promise this is easy), the pesto, andtoppings.

What's left of this pizza after last night....

The Dough (Recipe not my own…but I do have a modification or two). Borrowed from and the credit goes to him, and to my husband, who sent it to me.

the original recipe yields 2 pizza crusts. I find it turns out better when you halve it…he also uses a food processor. I’ve found my stand mixer stands up to the task better (the food processor made the dough tough).

My recipe for 1 crust

  • 1.5 Cups bread flour (all purpose is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons quick rising yeast (i want to be able to make it in 20 mins, not 2 hrs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup warm (100 degrees ish) water

Combine all ingredients–except the water–in the mixer. turn on. Slowly pour in the water. Let it blend with a dough hook for about 30 sec-1 min. turn off the mixer and start mixing it into a dough ball by hand (it should form easily). Cover dough ball in plastic wrap, put back into bowl. cover with a towel and let stand for 20 minutes.

Pull the dough ball out. flour your work surface. I lito a piece of parchement paper. Roll out to a 1″ thin round (or square) with a rolling pin. He tells you to let them rest again for 20 mins. I haven’t tried that yet. I usually just move on to step 2.


If you have one, put your pizza stone into the oven. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees for 20 minutes.

The pesto

  • 1 sweet potato cooked (wrap it in a wet paper towel and microwave for 5 minutes). then peel it.

In a food processor:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • sweet potato
  • a handful of basil
  • salt
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • process til smooth


  • 1 sweet onion caramelized (slice it into thin strips. add some olive oil to a skillet and warm on medium heat. toss in the onions and cover. occasionally stir. in about 15 mins they will be watery, turning color (slightly brown). that’s it.
  • balsamic vinegar reduction (put 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar into a saucepan. turn heat to medium at most (don’t put it on high, it will burn and smoke. my husband did this yesterday). Stir regularly and watch it steam and bubble. Essentially you’re removing the water. When it starts thickening and turning syrupy, turn it off and remove from heat. If it hardens, pour a little hot water over it.
  • Parmesan cheese (your preference on how much. I use a handful)

Putting it all together

Smear 1/2 of your pesto onto the pizza, like sauce. use how much ever you wish.  Top with the onions. Add the cheese.  Toss into a 500 oven on top of the pizza stone. Pull out with a pizza peel. Drizzle balsamic vinegar reduction on top. Slice and serve. I like to pair this with an apple-fennel-walnut-gorgonzola salad with a balsamic vinegar dressing. (recipe coming)

About ds331

A lifelong vegetarian. A foodie. Can there be such a thing? Some restauranteurs don't seem to think so...but many of my veggie friends and family have a little something or two to teach them.
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