Turkey Kabob and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Serves 3 – 4:

Project Pizza #2 is an ode to my trip to Turkey. Unable to resist the goodies at the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul and inspired by the cuisine, I came home with armfuls of spices in hopes of replicating some of the incredible dishes. One thing we ate often was kabobs. Often served alongside roasted peppers and Turkish flat bread, they’re a fixture on most restaurant menus.  Here’s a deconstructed version of the kabob platter. I used red bell pepper sauce as the base and topped the pie with turkey kabob meatballs, caramelized onions and mushrooms. The spinach topping gives the pie a hint of freshness that echoes the salads often served as the first course.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of whole-wheat pizza dough
  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 oz of Portobello mushrooms
  • ½ cup spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp of kabob seasoning
  • 1/3 cup of grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup of red bell pepper sauce (see recipe for Spaghetti and Red Bell Pepper Sauce)
  • 4 tbsp of EVOO

Prep It:

  • Heat two sauté pans over medium heat. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  • Chop the Portobello mushrooms into 1-inch pieces.
  • Slice the onion thinly.
  • Place the ground turkey in a large bowl. Add the kabob seasoning and the garlic to the turkey and using your hands mix it gently to combine. Form the meat into 1-inch meatballs.
  • Flour either the counter top or a large cutting board. Roll the dough out to about 14 inches diameter. Allow it to rest for a few minutes.

Cook It:

  • Place the dough on a greased baking sheet if you’re using that or slide the dough directly on a pizza stone. Prebake the crust for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow it to cool for a minute or two.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of EVOO in one of the skillets. Add the onion, toss to coat in EVOO and sauté until they turn a deep golden brown stirring occasionally.
  • In the other sauté pan heat 1 tbsp of EVOO. Add the meatballs making sure you don’t crowd the pan. Brown the meatballs, turning them occasionally so they brown evenly. This should take about 7 – 9 minutes. Remove them from the pan and let them rest for 2 -3 minutes. Cut in half.
  • Add another tablespoon of EVOO to the pan and add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms for about 5 – 7 minutes. Not only will they brown but they’ll also deglaze the pan and pick up all the turkey goodness. Remove from the pan when finished.
  • Spread the bell pepper sauce over the prebaked crust evenly. Top with the turkey, mushroom and caramelized onion. Dust with the cheese. Bake the pizza for another 6 – 8 minutes or until the cheese browns. Toss the spinach leaves in drizzle of EVOO and place on top of the pizza.

Serve It:

  • Serve with a dry chardonnay! This would also pair well with an orange salad complimenting the sweetness of the onions and bell pepper sauce. Enjoy!
  • Change it up!
    • Lamb is very typical in Middle Eastern cuisine. I used turkey meat to cut some on calories but using lamb would make an authentic and tasty kabob.
    • Caramelizing onions brings out their natural sugary goodness. They truly mellow and go from pungent to sweet. If you prefer a milder flavor, use leeks or shallots instead.

Images and Recipe – Copyright Alex Corzo 2012

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