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Grape-Gorgonzola Pizzettes

These mini pizzas made with a biscuit cutter are perfect as cocktail party nibbles, as appetizers or as part of a small plates menu. The basic formula — a flavorful sauteed topping, cheese and an herb garnish — is wide open to variation. I've included a few suggestions. While good, I don't think a smattering of cornmeal is essential on these little pizzas, so you can eliminate a bit of fuss and leave it out if you wish.

Makes 24 (3-inch) pizzettes

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing dough

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 rounded cups red seedless grapes, halved

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 recipe pizza dough


1 tablespoon coarse yellow cornmeal (optional)

3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

24 small basil leaves, or chopped basil

Preheat oven to 500 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the grapes and cook for 7 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until onion and grapes are soft. Add balsamic vinegar and simmer, stirring often, until vinegar has evaporated almost completely (when you tilt the pan, no liquid should run along the bottom). Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour and roll into a 14- to 16-inch round. Flour a 3-inch biscuit cutter and cut as many circles out of the dough as you can. Transfer circles to the prepared baking sheets, quickly gather the scraps, re-roll and cut more circles.

Drizzle or brush the pizzettes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal if using. Top each pizzette with a teaspoon of grape compote. At this point, you could chill the pizzettes, covered with plastic wrap, for a few hours, then take them straight from the refrigerator to the oven, adding an extra minute or so to the baking time.

Bake the pizzettes for 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle with Gorgonzola and top with a basil leaf. Sometimes I add the cheese before baking, but it retains its texture and strong flavor better if you wait until after. Serve immediately.

Other Ideas for Pizzettes

Sweet onion and blueberry compote with white wine vinegar; crumbled goat cheese and thyme.

Sliced mixed mushrooms sauteed with scallions, garlic and a few dashes of soy sauce; grated Fontina cheese and chives.

Sauteed diced eggplant or zucchini, tomatoes and onion with a dash of red wine vinegar; crumbled feta cheese and mint.

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