My husband has very strict definitions of what counts as pizza. He questions the notion of a “dessert pizza” because, to him, pizza must have tomatoes and cheese. In fact, such an intense debate once arose among our group of friends about whether a “dessert pizza” counted as pizza that we walked to a corner store and asked the proprietor, who was known for having very strong opinions, to settle the matter for us. He grilled us with questions to pinpoint the exact nature of a dessert pizza.
“Does it have a crust?”
“Yes! Cookie dough!”
“Does it have sauce?”
“Yes! It could have some kind of fudge or chocolate sauce.”
“Then… it is a pizza!”
Such debates would probably not arise about the “Irish pizza” I made recently. After all, it has a crust, tomatoes and cheese. They’re just a little different from usual.
The first topping is not sauce but a layer of cheddar cheese. You throw the cheddar-topped dough in the oven until it is golden brown. Then you pull it out and add a generous topping of bruschetta, top it with Parmesan or more cheddar, and your pizza is served! It’s a fun pizza to serve guests around St. Patrick’s Day, since cheddar is a staple of the UK, and traditional cheesemaking is on the rise again in Ireland… hooray!
And, since our friend the corner store proprietor says that crust is essential for pizza, I recommend making your own using King Arthur Flour’s recipe. I’ve tried many recipes in the past, and this one is easy, delicious, and yields a cooperative dough.
- 2 cups seeded, diced fresh tomato
- ½ cup chopped onion (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- pizza dough (enough for 2-3 pizzas)
- 1 8-ounce block Conebella Farm Cheddar or Italian Cheddar
- ½ to 1 cup shredded Parmesan (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Roll out pizza dough, divided into 2-3 pizzas. Place on stones or greased baking pans, and top with cheddar. Bake 15 minutes until cheese is golden.
- Mix together tomatoes, onion, basil, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and oregano. Top baked pizzas with this bruschetta mixture and with the Parmesan.