I am the social athlete. I never turn down an opportunity to have a meal with my fellow athlete friends. Last week I had the pleasure of dining with 4 other fellow female Ironman triathletes, two were racing a 50K marathon in the next 48 hours and I was racing a half marathon in the next 72 hours. Our carbo-loading meal was a fabulous Pear and Goat Cheese Pizza. It was so good, I was still thinking about it this week and decided to make it.
Since I’m the busy every day athlete, with competing fulltime responsibilities like everyone else, I take cooking shortcuts every chance I get. The big time saver for this recipe is buying the pizza dough. These days you can find a variety of pizza dough in your local supermarket’s freezer. I decided to buy whole wheat dough, but you can also use multi-grain or traditional pizza dough.
Here’s nutritional information for whole wheat pizza dough:
NOTE: I originally made candied walnuts to add to the pizza (in the photos), however the caramelized onions added enough sweetness. I ended up picking the walnuts off and enjoying them separately. Next time, I’ll use plain toasted walnuts for some crunch without the added sugar. Nuts, including almonds, walnuts, and pecans, have been shown to have heart healthy benefits, including lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol. Walnuts are also a source of omega-3.
- pizza dough*
- 1 cup of thinly sliced onion
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Kosher salt
- freshly cracked peppercorns
- corn meal
- 6 ounces of crumbled goat cheese*
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced (depending on the size of the pear, you may only need 1 1/2)
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
* NOTE: If you are a gluten-free diet, ensure that the ingredients you are using are gluten-free.
Preheat over to 450F.
Follow the instructions for the pizza dough. Usually the dough, if frozen, will need to defrost over several hours and then allowed to sit a few more hours in a bowl, greased with olive oil, until the dough doubles in size.
Cook onions covered in pan over medium/low heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes until soft and caramelized. You may need to remove the lid to allow all of the liquid to evaporate towards the end of the cooking time. Allow to cool.
Prepare pizza dough and place on pizza stone or baking pan dusted with corn meal. Bake pizza dough for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top pizza with goat cheese and bake for 10 additional minutes or until cheese is starting to melt.
Whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon and salt. Toss arugula and in olive oil and lemon dressing.
Remove pizza from oven and top with pears, caramelized onions and arugula. Season with freshly cracked pepper. For some extra crunch, top with some plain toasted walnuts.