Thu 26 Feb 2009
Last weekend, LL said, “You know what we haven’t had on a pizza for a long time? Caramelized onions.”
Well, that little situation was easy to take care off. Before I rolled out the dough and started chopping the other ingredients, I sliced a red onion, put the slices in a small pan, drizzled some olive oil over them and slid the pan under the broiler. I had decided to feature onions on the pizza, so in addition to the caramelized red onion, I chopped a yellow onion and some scallions, which I put in a bowl. Then I added some sliced shiitake mushrooms, a few oil-cured black olives, a handful of chopped radicchio, some prosciutto and roasted garlic. In a radical move, I didn’t use any tomatoes.
So, we were eating the pizza, drinking the attractive Hahn Estates Meritage 2006, Central Coast — it’s time for a review will come –and watching Vicky Christina Barcelona, and I noticed that LL seemed rather pensive. She said: “Now I remember why we haven’t had caramelized red onion on a pizza for a long time.”
“Um, why is that?” I replied.
“Because the caramelization makes them too sweet, and the sweetness overwhelms the rest of the flavors. It unbalances the pizza.”
Ah, so, well, not a complete success.
Anyway, I had some of the topping left after making the pizza, and I saved it, knowing that I would be making an omelet later in the week; LL is out of town attending a conference, and I tend to cook pretty simply for myself, not that we ever cook in a very complicated manner.
So the night came — this was Tuesday — and I made the omelet, with the shiitakes, roasted garlic, radicchio, green onions, caramelized red onion, prosciutto and black olives. I sliced a couple of cherry tomatoes in half, scattered some shredded cheddar on them, salt, pepper and panko bread crumbs and broiled those along with slices of sourdough bread doused with olive oil and thyme, my current favorite herb. With a sprinkling of salsa verde, everything worked great together and made an enjoyable supper.
For wine I opened a bottle of the S.A. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2007, from the German Mosel region. The winery was founded in 1911 and is still owned by the Prüm family. For a bit of explanation, the village associated with the commune where the winery is located is Wehlen, hence “Wehlener”; the vineyard is Sonnenuhr. Kabinett is the driest level of the higher order of German wine categories. The alcohol is a mild yet still involving 8.5 percent.
The wine is charming and delightful, fresh and clean and crisp. Aromas of peach, pear, lemon tart and jasmine are seductive, drawing one in to flavors of ripe peach and lime, a hint of spice and a wash of limestone. Fleet acidity enlivens the wine with an electric impulse yet does not detract from the richness and lushness of the texture, making for exquisite equilibrium; it’s a sweetheart of a thirst-quencher but with a serious side. After a few minutes, the nose takes on a bit of the characteristic riesling petrol or rubber eraser element, while the wine finishes with a touch of grass and dried herbs. Excellent, for drinking through 2011 or ’12. I paid $29, but prices on the Internet range from about $23 to $30. Closed with a screw-cap for easy opening.
Imported by Palm Bay International, Boca Raton, Fla.