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Roasted Garlic, Fontina and Veggie Pizza

Fontina is an Italian cheese that melts beautifully and has a mellow earthiness that complements mushrooms. A whole head may sound like a lot of garlic, but roasting it takes away the bite and leaves behind rich, sweet flavor. Once you've made roasted garlic, you will want to use it for everything — toast, sandwiches, pasta, ice cream.

Makes 1 (14-inch) pizza

1 whole head garlic

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus two tablespoons

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon coarse yellow cornmeal

1/2 recipe pizza dough


1/2 large white onion, chopped

8 ounces Portobello mushroom caps, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 large mushroom caps)

8 ounces spinach leaves (about 6 tightly packed cups)

4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stem end of the garlic head, exposing the tops of the cloves inside the papery skin. Leave the root end intact. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of oil over the cloves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic in foil, creating a loosely sealed packet. Roast for 45 minutes or until cloves are lightly browned and the consistency of a very soft paste. Set aside to cool. Garlic may be roasted 1 day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Place a pizza stone in the center of the oven and increase temperature to 500 degrees.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until soft and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Remove to a bowl.

Add another 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the skillet, then add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. When mushrooms release their water, increase the heat so the water evaporates more quickly. Cook until soft and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add to bowl with the onions.

Add a bit more oil to the skillet and heat to medium low. Add the spinach in handfuls, letting it reduce in volume before adding more. Cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Sprinkle some cornmeal onto a large sheet of parchment paper, place the dough on top and pat it into an oval. Lightly dust dough and rolling pin with flour and roll out into a round shape, roughly 14 inches wide. Spread about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the dough and sprinkle more cornmeal around the edges.

Squeeze the soft garlic cloves out of their skins and spread over the dough. Top with the cheese and the onion-mushroom mixture. Lift the spinach out of the skillet with a slotted spatula, give it a squeeze to release as much water as possible, and spread it over the pizza. Transfer the pizza to the oven by lifting the parchment paper and placing the paper directly onto the pizza stone. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust starts to brown. Slice and serve.

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