January is a month often devoted to self-care. A lot of us are eating well, we’re quitting smoking or drinking, we’re going to the gym, we’re cutting out gluten or sugar or caffeine. We’re meditating, we’re taking up running. We’re washing our make-up off before bed.
No matter how small (or grandiose) our resolutions are, a lot of them seem to be directed at one thing- taking care of one’s self.
This is nothing to shrug at. Self care is really, really important. Once upon a time, in a life before motherhood (which seems like forever ago but was really only last year), I practiced self-care by being lazy and indulgent in a benign sort of way. Too much Netflix, too much wine, cheap pedicures over my lunch hour, the odd massage or facial.
These days, self-care is a lot harder for me to squeeze in, but it’s no less important. I actually find it’s more important now that I’m a parent.
I was told last week, when I felt frazzled and overwhelmed (and feeling guilty for feeling frazzled and overwhelmed) that “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Being a mum is exhausting sometimes, but we can’t get down on ourselves for needing time away to recharge. In fact, these small pockets of time off make you a better parent. At least, they do for me.
When I get an hour or two away from my daughter- coffee with a friend, a massage, a matinee- it recharges me ten-fold. I come back missing her, even if it’s only been a short time. I have the enthusiasm and patience and boundless love to power me through multiple days without a break. That’s all it takes, an hour or so, and I’m new again.
I am a better mother when I make self-care part of my routine. Put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you.
In the early days of motherhood, I didn’t know this. I felt guilty for needing the time, or even asking for it, but I shouldn’t have. Because, of course, when I did ask for it- I got it. The lesson here: don’t feel bad asking for help, don’t apologize for telling people what you need. Seems like a no-brainer, but this is something I still have to remind myself.
What does all this have to do with a pizza? Almost nothing, in all honesty. But these easy little pizzas taste really indulgent, look really fancy, and take almost no effort- a mini treat-yo-self in the middle of the week, if you need it. A romantic dinner for two. Heck, a romantic dinner for one.
Luscious, syrupy onions. Salty, chewy prosciutto. Delicate fresh mozzarella, melted into gooey strands. All topped with fresh, peppery arugula and a hit of tangy, sweet balsamic reduction. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s savoury, it’s fresh, it’s a perfect balance of all the things you might be craving, with some beautiful textures to boot.
I mean, it’s topped with a pile of fresh greens… so it’s basically a salad, right? 😉
|Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza|| |
- 2 small onions, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- 100g prosciutto
- 200g fresh mozzarella
- 2-3 handfuls fresh baby arugula
- Balsamic reduction
- Pizza Dough:*
- 1⅓ cups warm water
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet into the oven. Crank the heat on the oven up to 500 degrees. Let the stone heat for at least 30 minutes in the oven (if you're using a pre-baked crust, skip this step).
- Heat butter and olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add onions and brown sugar and mix well. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are medium golden and very soft- roughly 30 minutes.
- Dust a flat surface with some coarse semolina and stretch out the portion of pizza dough you will be using. Take the heated pizza stone/tray out of the oven and transfer the dough directly on to it. This will cause the dough to start cooking right away, ensuring a nice and crispy crust (if you're using a pre-baked crust, skip this step).
- Spread onions over the pizza dough which should already be on the pizza stone or baking sheet. Top with fresh mozzarella. Bake for 5-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted and the edges of the crust are lightly browned. Remove from oven, top with torn prosciutto, a pile of fresh baby arugula and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
- To make dough: Preheat oven to 200°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until yeast has dissolved and mixture is frothy. Add in flour, sugar, salt, and olive oil; knead on a low speed for 5-10 minutes until dough has formed. It should be elastic and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl; cover with aluminum foil, and place bowl in the oven. TURN OVEN OFF. Let the dough rise in the warm oven for about 2 hours until it has doubled in size. Divide into two balls of dough, then use one for the remainder of this recipe. (Prepare another pizza with the second ball of dough, or store in the fridge for another night.)