Ham & Swiss Pizza

Should I change the name of this site to “The Little Kitchen Pizzeria… and the Occasional Cookie”?  I seem to be stuck in a rut… well, I don’t consider it a rut at all, but it seems like the Little Kitchen has become a broken record of pizzas and friends in the kitchen (which have been some of my favorite cooking times).  I am more than okay with this and I hope you are too.  But don’t worry, I will spin out of my pizza making frenzy eventually and continue to broaden my horizons.  

For now, I must share two new great pizzas that I discovered with my friend Mary.  I like to think I was ahead of the curve on this pizza thing because just this month, every magazine I have read (Real Simple, In Style, Food Everday, etc.) has a whole section on making pizza at home.  I guess I should say Bon Appetit was really the one ahead of the game because their May issue with Giada’s pizza is what started me down this wonderful road.  I have continued to use the same crust, but I have tried all these new toppings and these two pizzas came from Real Simple this month.  I thought both of them were delightful and the tomato olive pizza was a fresh alternative with no cheese (even though I have to say the slices of brie we added to half the pizza were my favorite part).  Most of these articles I have been reading about pizzas have all used store bought dough.  If my homemade dough is what is keeping you from trying pizzas, you should definitely start with store bought dough and find one you like…. Too bad I’m already partial to the homemade kind...Enjoy!
Ham & Swiss Pizza
Adapted from Real Simple, October 2009
flour, for rolling out pizza dough
1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, cut into very thin slices and separated
12 sprigs fresh thyme
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli ham
1/2 cup swiss or gruyere cheese (2 ounces)
Step by Step
1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Sprinkle a clean surface with flour.  Roll our pizza dough into a rectangular shape that will fit a baking sheet.
3.  Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.  Transfer pizza dough onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper. 
4.  Lightly brush with dough with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5.  In a medium bowl, toss shallots, thyme, remaining olive oil and a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. 
6.  Top the dough with ham, cheese and shallot mixture.  
7.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until crust is crispy and browned.