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This pear and gorgonzola pizza with arugula and Ranch dressing is a unique pizza with a surprisingly delicious combination of flavors.
Every time we travel, my husband Jack and I discover that the best restaurant recommendations often come from local residents. During our recent Lake Tahoe vacation, our group rented jet skis one morning at the marina right next to the condo where we stayed. Among other things, the conversation with the rental staff focused on discussing some of the best local restaurants we should try.
One of the women who helped us with our rentals recommended Base Camp Pizza Co., a wood-burning gourmet pizzeria in the village at Heavenly Mountain, a ski resort in South Lake Tahoe.
Later in the week, after a day of exploring (and with no interest in cooking when we returned home to the condo), we decided to check the menu at Base Camp Pizza. The menu included an eclectic (but delicious!) Variety of pizzas, and the one that stood out to me was their pear and gorgonzola pizza.
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I'm a big fan of white pizzas, and this pizza has a white garlic cream sauce topped with slices of Bosc pear and red onion, plus chunks of tasty gorgonzola cheese. After baking, the pizza is topped with arugula and a drizzle of ranch dressing. *
* If you look at their menu online, Base Camp serves up their arugula pizza with balsamic dressing. For some reason, our takeout pizza came with bare arugula and a side of ranch dressing.
Either way, this pizza is delicious! The creamy garlic sauce, the sweet pears, the bite of the creamy gorgonzola, the fresh and spicy arugula, and the drizzle of creamy ranch made my palate dance! It was so good that Jack wished he had asked for it too. So once we got home we decided to make a pear and gorgonzola pizza with arugula and ranch dressing to share with all of you today.
The instructions below are for baking this pizza in the oven, but if you want to try to emulate the wood-based pizza flavor of Base Camp Pizza Co., feel free to grill your pizza (see how to do it here).
1 20-ounce ball of pizza dough, room temperature (store-bought or homemade)
3 tablespoons of butter
1 ½ tablespoons fresh garlic, minced (about 2–3 cloves)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon dried mustard
Few ground fresh nutmeg
1 Bosc pear, unpeeled and cut into thin and large slices (discarding the core)
½ cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Very thin slices of red onion
2 cups fresh arugula
3–4 tablespoons ranch dressing
Cornmeal for pizza peel
Place a pizza stone in the bottom of your oven and heat it to the top.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the garlic.
Cook for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic begins to brown and add flour.
Stir and cook for three minutes and add the milk and stir with a wire whip.
The mixture will be thick.
Add half and half and stir again until smooth.
Add salt, pepper, dry mustard, and nutmeg and stir one last time. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Flour the counter and cut the dumplings in half to form two balls.
Flatten each to about 12-14 inches round.
Sprinkle cornmeal over the pizza peel and place a pizza crust on top of the cornmeal.
Use a small ladle and coat the top with the cream sauce, about half an inch from the edge. Be generous with the sauce but save at least half for the second pizza.
Arrange the sliced pears around the pizza. (We put six large slices on each pizza, so when they are cooked and cut, each slice will have one slice of pear.)
Sprinkle half the thinly sliced onion over the pears.
Crumble half of the Gorgonzola cheese onto the pizza and slide onto the stone.
Depending on your oven, the pizza should be ready in 5-7 minutes.
Remove to a cutting board and cut into six slices, then cover with half of the arugula and drizzle the ranch dressing over the top.
Repeat for the second pizza.
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