Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Holuakoa Pizza: Poached Pair, Mac Nuts, Gorgonzola and Pesto



With pesto drizzled...

My friend Tara told me about the Holuakoa Gardens & Cafe on Hawaii's Big Island. We went last year for brunch and loved it so much that I convinced (begged) the hubby to go again this year for dinner. It was a hidden gem on an island full of tourist traps and heavy fried foods. Everyone loved their meal, and I have been obsessing about mine. I got a "Pizzetta" with poached pear, Gorgonzola, and macadamia nuts with a little side salad of arugula and pesto drizzled over everything. It was so good that I was determined to re-create it. Last night I did and it was as good as I remembered. This would even make a great appetizer to serve hot or room temp the next time you have friends over.

If you want to serve with the arugula as they did, toss with a light vinaigrette and serve on the side. Sprinkle with a little of the pesto as well. Delish!

Holuakoa Pizza
Inspired by the pizzetta at Holuakoa Gardens & Cafe
Olive oil
2 pears, poached and sliced (my poaching recipe below)
Macadamia nuts, chopped small
Pesto (I bought PCC's vegan pesto because it was all they had and it was fantastic)

Place pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500. Sprinkle a work surface, rolling pin and pizza dough with flour and roll out dough to thin pizzas. (I never worry about the shape of the pizzas. I don't know that I've ever rolled out a circle. They're usually rectangle, triangle, or a big blob - but they all taste great!) Sprinkle the bottom side of a cookie sheet with cornmeal and a little flour (to prevent the dough from sticking) and transfer rolled-out dough onto it. Brush dough with olive oil. Top with slices of pear, then sprinkle with macadamia nuts and top with Gorgonzola crumbles. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven and reduce heat to 450. Sprinkle pizza stone with cornmeal and then slide pizza onto the stone CAREFULLY. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove and carefully transfer to a wood cutting board to slice. Mix pesto with a bit of olive oil and then sprinkle over the pizza. Serve hot or room temp.

Cider Poached Pears

2 pears, peeled, quartered, and cored
2 cups apple cider
juice of 1/2 orange
1 cinnamon stick

Bring cider, orange juice and cinnamon stick to a light boil. Add pairs, reduce heat and simmer for roughly 15 minutes until fork tender (check after 10 minutes and then adjust time as necessary). Remove and let cool.
As long as you're poaching pears, maybe do an extra one or two and use for dessert. Just Google a bit and find something delicious to create.

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