April 21, 2010

Grilled Pizza with Pears, Gorgonzola and Toasted Hazelnuts

I married my Subtly Amazing husband almost five years ago.

He is amazing for many reasons, but one of them is because he inherited an “insta-family” when he married me and he has embraced his role as a step-dad with open arms and an open heart.

As a couple, we have the unusual luxury of switching between being full-time parents one weekend and on our own the next. We get to attend baseball, volleyball, and softball games for the kids some weekends and spend romantic weekends alone every once in a while. Shortly before we were married, we even travelled to Italy to see his friend get married in a 14th century cathedral between Verona and Venice. It was the first time I’d ever travelled outside of the country and the first vacation I’d been on as an adult without kids. It was terribly romantic, but I still dream of taking them with us and stay in a villa in Tuscany someday.


That summer in 2005 we took the train everywhere. We stayed in quaint hotels, drank espresso and wine, took photos with a vintage Pentax, and ate our way through Northern Italy.

One of my favorite memories is of a simple grilled thin crust pizza we shared with a sublime bottle of wine in Venice along the Grand Canal. I’ve played with this recipe at home for the last few years and I think I’ve finally gotten it right.

Every time I make it for dinner, it takes us back to our pre-honeymoon in Italy.

The kids went with us for our actual honeymoon, but that’s another story.

Grilled Pizza with Pears, Gorgonzola and Toasted Hazelnuts

I like to make this at night after work, so I cheat and buy readymade pizza dough at Trader Joe’s in a bag. You can find it in the deli section at Tj’s, near the cheeses and fresh pasta.


• 8 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
• 1 pear (about), halved, cored, very thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup caramelized sweet onion
• 1/3 cup toasted hazelnut or walnut pieces, coarsely broken
• Freshly cracked black pepper
• Extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Transfer pizza to grill. Cover and cook until cheese softens and crust is golden on bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer pizzas to work surface. Sprinkle with pepper; drizzle with a little additional olive oil. Cut into wedges and serve.

Side note: The grill is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds.

{pizza pic from Epicurious, all other photos by yours truly}


  1. Mickey and I remember bumping into you both in St Michael's Square.....We had no idea you'd be in Italy, sharing the wonder of Venice. It boggles my mind, we worked in the same office and literally bumped into one another in an entirely foreign country. A throng of thousands crowding around us, too easy never to have seen each other. It is a kizmet type of event I think. I'm so happy looking at your beautiful photo's, you succeeded to document Venice where I failed, but you are so gifted in that department. You're incredibly talented Heidi. I'm happy to have shared a cafe in one of the small bistro's, you, your husband and Mickey and I. Here's hoping we meet in as exotic a location next time we share a table.

  2. I'll have to search for the photo I took of the four of us in the square that day! It literally proves the saying "Small World".

  3. lovely photos! I'll definitely have to try this recipe~ thanks!

  4. Do you need to grill the dough prior to putting on ingredients?

  5. You are adorable!! And your husband so cute! Thanks for sending me over!!