Pizza With Lots of Caramelized Onions and Garlic

Pizza dough (enough for a "large" pizza from your favorite pizzeria or well-stocked supermarket)
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
10 yellow onions (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 bay leaves
2 teaspoons light- or dark-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Cornmeal, for preparing pan
About 1/2 cup favorite tomato-based pizza sauce (such as accompanying recipe)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh basil
3 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh oregano leaves
1 1/2 cups Nicoise olives, pitted and sliced

Refrigerate the dough while proceeding with recipe.

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, combine 6 tablespoons of the olive oil with the butter. Add the onions, garlic and bay leaves, then sprinkle with the brown sugar, salt and white pepper, tossing gently to thoroughly coat onions with seasonings. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes without stirring.

Remove lid, increase temperature to medium-high and continue cooking and stirring for 15 minutes. Finally, increase temperature to high and, stirring continuously, continue cooking until onions are a rich golden-brown. This will take about 10 more minutes (total cooking time will be about 45 minutes). Stir in the wine and vinegar and deglaze pan by stirring vigorously to loosen any cooked-on bits from bottom of pan; set aside.

Preheat oven to 500 F.

On a lightly floured work surface, pat and roll pizza dough to fit a 16-inch, round pan or a 12-by-16-inch baking sheet. Sprinkle pan with a thin layer of the cornmeal, then press dough into pan, rolling edges slightly to create a rim. Brush remaining olive oil over surface.

Spread or brush on the pizza sauce, then arrange onions evenly over dough. Sprinkle on the cheese and fresh herbs, then add the olives.

Bake in preheated oven until crust is a rich golden-brown, for 15 to 20 minutes. Pizza can be eaten immediately, of course, but it's great picnic fare; cut into pieces and let cool, then wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Makes 5 to 6 servings.


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