One of the tastiest recipe contests in Almanac history occurred when we asked our readers to send in their best dishes that used bacon. The results appeared in The 2013 Old Farmer’s Almanac. First prize went to Gilda Lester of Millsboro, Delaware, for this recipe , which some have called “beyond gourmet” pizza!
Spicy Bacon Pizza With Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese
- 12 slices bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 cups sliced onions
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 1 pound store-bought pizza dough
- 6 thin slices provolone cheese
- 1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced into thin rounds
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cook the bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings from the skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Stir in the salt and red pepper flakes. While the onions cook, blend the mascarpone cheese, sour cream, and thyme in a small bowl. Lightly grease a 12-inch pizza pan (if you have a pizza stone, skip this step and heat it when heating the oven). Sprinkle the pan or stone with cornmeal. Press or roll out the dough to a 12-inch round and place it on the prepared pan or stone. Brush the crust with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange the provolone slices over the entire crust in a single layer. Spread the mascarpone mixture over the provolone. Top with the sliced tomatoes in a single layer. Spoon the onions over the tomatoes. Top with olives and crisp bacon. Sprinkle blue cheese over all. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the topping is browned and bubbly. Cut into wedges. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Ginger Vaughan has worked for The Old Farmer's Almanac for over a decade and, every spring, thinks about starting a garden. When she isn't enjoying the outdoors (and pondering just where to plant that garden), she can often be found in the kitchen testing out new recipes. She lives in a Pacific Northwest forest on the Puget Sound with Thor and Olive, two English bulldogs who would like to taste test her cooking creations far more often than they are allowed.