Make-Your-Own Pinwheels

Do you remember that one of my cooking resolutions is to be more creative in the kitchen? Well, I did it -- sort of. I started in a very small way, but you have to start somewhere, right?

I found a recipe for prosciutto and mozzarella pinwheels in Giada's Kitchen. After glancing at the recipe, which was as simple as rolling up some mozzarella, prosciutto, and spinach in pizza dough, I decided to improvise. My boyfriend doesn't like spinach, so I first considered just putting the spinach on one end for me, but eventually I nixed it completely. I kept the prosciutto and mozzarella and added roasted red peppers, sauteed onions and garlic, and tomato paste. I think the end result was a brand new pinwheel. Okay, maybe that's going a bit far. So I didn't come up with the pinwheel concept myself, but at least I played with the flavors a bit. I actually deviated from a recipe!

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, And Roasted Pepper Pinwheels (adapted from Giada's Kitchen)

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Cornmeal, for dusting
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, sliced into rings
2 cloves garlic, minced
Roasted peppers from 7.25-ounce jar, sliced into strips
1 pound pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
flour, for dusting
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
Fresh mozzarella, sliced or grated (I used 10 small balls, but use as much or as little as you like)
Kosher salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly dust it with cornmeal.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in medium pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, and saute until soft. Add garlic. Saute for another minute or two, or until onions begin to brown. Remove to a plate, and set aside.

Toss pepper strips in the pan, and saute just until warmed (optional).

Add to plate with onions and garlic, and set aside.

On lightly floured countertop, roll dough out into a roughly 12- by 18-inch rectangle. Spread tomato paste evenly over dough.

Top with slices of prosciutto.

Top with mozzarella pieces, and then arrange onions, garlic, and peppers over prosciutto and mozzarella.

With the long side in front of you, roll the dough into a cylinder, tucking in the ingredients as you roll.

You will probably have some dough hanging at each end.

Just tuck it under, being sure to close any openings so nothing leaks out.

Transfer the cylinder to prepared baking sheet. Brush all over with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until dough is golden brown all over, turning the pan once halfway through.

Cool for about 5 minutes. Cut into approx. 1-inch wide slices using a serrated knife.

Have leftovers? Arrange slices on a cooling rack set in a baking sheet. Reheat in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes. Turn slices over, and pop them back in the oven. Turn oven up to 425 degrees, and heat for about another 10 minutes, or until slices reach your desired crispness (we liked them crispy).

After I made these, I consulted The Flavor Bible to see how I did with my flavor combinations. Prosciutto works well with tomatoes and olive oil, but a cheese like Fontina or Gruyere might have been better than the mozzarella. I can see that. I love the sharp and salty bite of Gruyere. Onions have an affinity for garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, and olive oil. But again, mozzarella's not on the list. However, bell peppers and mozzarella have a strong connection, so incredibly, I managed to connect the flavors of all the ingredients.

We had this for dinner with Caesar salad, but it would also make a good party appetizer -- think Superbowl Party! The whole thing can even be prepared and baked the day before and then rewarmed (as in my suggestion for leftovers above) for the party.

I think a tomato, broccoli, cheddar one would be fabulous. Pepperoni, provolone, and sauce would be tasty too. And Gruyere, spinach, and prosciutto could really pack some intense flavor.

What would be in your pinwheel?