Crunchy pizza with sweet red bell pepper, buttery garlicky shrimp, topped off with intoxicating blue cheese and toasted walnuts!
It’s a pizza! Can we please call it a pizza?? I don’t know if this still technically can be classified as a pizza, because there is no tomato sauce on there, but who cares! Once you take a bite of this beauty you won’t be thinking about these semantics anymore. Sink your teeth in and you’ll first taste crunch from the toasted nuts and the caramelized crust. Next you will get the aroma of the succulent buttery and garlicky shrimp with some sweetness from the bell pepper. And then the flavors seamlessly melt over into the fragrant and intoxicating aroma off the blue cheese. All is lifted up by the fresh parsley and accompanied by a little zing from the chili pepper. This is such a ridiculously good combination!
When I was going through James Briscione’s book Flavor Matrix and read that shrimp actually share chemical flavor compounds with blue cheese, bell peppers and walnuts I immediately knew I had to write a recipe for this. And trust me, this recipe hits all the right notes! If you are looking for a way to bring your pizza game to the next level by making it luxurious and indulgent without being pretentious – here you go!
With regards to the garlicky butter that you are creating, you are basically making liquid herbed garlic butter from scratch. You could also take the shortcut and use store-bough garlic butter and let it melt. I won’t judge you! But the homemade stuff always tastes better! If you are ever in need of a garlic butter recipe, check mine out here.
(For 1 baking tray, which is enough for 3-4 people as main dish)
- 1 portion of pizza dough, preferably homemade, otherwise use store bough
- 2 red bell peppers
- 300g raw prawns, shelled and de-veined
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 stalks of parsley
- 30g butter
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 80g blue cheese, like Gorgonzola, Roquefort or Stilton
- 40g walnuts
Make an amazing pizza-like creation!
Prepare the pizza dough according to the instructions and let it rise. While the dough rises, toast your walnuts in a dry skillet for about 4 minutes on medium-high heat. Keep shaking the pan. Once they are fragrant and toasty, take the walnuts out and wipe the pan out with a kitchen towel.
Cut the bell pepper into thin strips. Pat the shrimps dry with kitchen towels. Finely mince the garlic and chop the parsley.
Put a skillet on medium high heat, add the butter and let it melt. Once melted, take the skillet off the heat, add the garlic, parsley, bell pepper and shrimp. Seasons with a pinch of salt, pepper and the red chili flakes. Give a good stir to thoroughly coat the shrimps and pepper with the butter mixture.
Once your dough finished rising, preheat the oven to 230°c (fan works best for a crunchy pizza crust).
Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface and transfer to a baking tray. Evenly spread the garlicky shrimp pepper mixture over the dough. Using your hands, crumble over the blue cheese and bake the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes.
Slice up the pizza and sprinkle with the walnuts as well as some more parsley!
Doesn’t this combination just work beautifully together? And while we are on the topic: What is your favorite pizza topping? Share your thoughts and suggestions with us in the comments below!
If you want to learn more about flavors and how to combine them, check out my second book “Flavor Math” which is available digitally (PDF)!
PS: This recipe is inspired by the idea that shrimp share chemical flavor compounds with blue cheese, red bell peppers and walnuts. That’s why they work so well together. Check out James Briscione’s book on food pairing if you are interested in digging deeper into this!
I must say I was really intrigued and (a tiny?) sceptical at first, but that worked actually pretty well taste and texture wise, good job with that recipe! 😉