Hello and welcome to Pizza and a Movie. Today’s pizza has the great flavor of a Ham and Cheese sandwich. With a fresh, herby, dressed tomato and onion salad topping the finished pizza, it’s savory, nutty and fresh; with great variety in texture from the juicy tomatoes and fresh sweet onion to the puffy golden crust and the chewy, gooey melted cheese. Happy Friday – let’s get right to it!
Tomato and Onion Salad
Before you start anything, preheat the oven with a pizza steel or stone to 450 degrees F. I have about 12 ounces of grape tomatoes that I will quarter and transfer to a bowl. Along with about 1/4 of a sweet onion, sliced thinly. I have fresh rosemary, but you can use parsley, thyme, or basil. Then I have aged sherry vinegar (use your favorite type) and olive oil.
Add the thin onion slices and the minced herbs to bowl with the tomatoes. Drizzle on some olive oil and a tablespoon or so of the vinegar. Add a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper, toss to combine and set aside.
Ham and Gruyere Pizza
Now on to the pizza. Roll, spin, or stretch your dough out to about 12-inches round.
I have the store-bought dough today that I typically use, and I know this dough gets very puffy, so I want to give the whole thing a brushing of olive oil. The olive oil will help to crisp up the edges and give the dough a little extra flavor.
The first topping layer will be grated Gruyere. I have about 1.5 cups of grated cheese. Use roughly 2/3 of the cheese for the bottom layer. Next will be the deli ham. Use as much as you like. I am folding each piece into thirds to give each bite a meatier texture.
Once you have evenly topped the pizza with the folded deli ham slices, top the whole pizza with the remaining cheese.
Now we are ready for the oven.
Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is puffed and golden and the cheese is melted and bubbling.
Give the tomato and onion salad another toss. Then use a slotted spoon or tongs to top the baked pizza with the tomato and onion salad. Slice the pizza how you like it and that’s it!
I love the flavors and textures of the melted cheese and ham, just like a hot ham and cheese sandwich! But then you have the juicy tomatoes and the crunchy onion slices and the whole thing just really comes together. The vinegar dressing brightens up the rich savoriness of the ham and cheese for a wonderful combination!
Movie Night: The Automat
We have our Ham and Gruyere Pizza ready to go so let’s get to the show! The Automat is a documentary from 2021 capturing the history of The Automat through the anecdotes and recollections of some famous and not-so-famous people who were there for its golden age. The Horn and Hardart Automat was an “automatic” restaurant established at the turn of the 20th century, in Philadelphia and New York City. The founders were Joseph V. Horn and Frank Hardart.
The cafeteria-style dining was made automatic with banks of vending machine-like machines with little windows displaying individual dishes of freshly prepared food like meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, creamed spinach and sweets like pie. Each window had a coin slot to drop in your nickel, then you turn the dial, the little window opens and you can serve yourself. Known for its 5 cent New Orleans-style coffee, the Automat had a policy that all were welcome – no matter of race, creed or social status. The interiors of the cafeterias were iconic; white marble floors and table tops, shiny brass and glass fixtures, all in an art deco style. Providing fresh and delicious food for very affordable prices, where all were welcome, was central to the Automat and this was especially important during the Depression.
I could go on about this documentary, I really enjoyed it. But I will instead encourage you to rent and watch this loving portrait of a truly American invention – Horn and Hardart’s Automat Restaurant. The Automat is available to rent on Google Play, Amazon, YouTube and Apple.
Thank you so much for joining me today for Pizza and a Movie. I hope you give this Ham and Gruyere Pizza a try, it’s really wonderful! You can always look back through the Pizza and a Movie archives for pizza ideas and movie recommendations for your next Pizza and a Movie Night! Pizza and a Movie Archives
Take care and be well, everyone! xo Kelly
Ham and Gruyere Pizza
Today's pizza is like a hot Ham and Cheese sandwich. With a fresh, herby, dressed tomato and onion salad topping the finished pizza.
- 12 oz. Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4-1/2 Sweet Onion, sliced thin
- 2 tsp. Minced Fresh Rosemary
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp. Sherry Vinegar (or red or white wine vinegar)
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- Pinch of Black Pepper
- 1 Prepared Pizza Dough
- Olive Oil (for drizzling on pizza dough)
- 1.5 cups Grated Gruyere Cheese
- 8-12 oz. Sliced Deli Ham
Preheat the oven with a pizza steel or stone to 450 degrees F.
Combine the quartered tomatoes, onion slices and minced herbs in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Toss to combine and set aside.
Roll, spin, or stretch your dough out to about 12-inches round. Brush with dough with olive oil.
Use roughly 2/3 of the cheese for the first layer.
Fold each slice of deli ham into thirds and lay the folded ham slices evenly over the cheese.
Top the whole pizza with the remaining cheese.
Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is puffed and golden and the cheese is melted and bubbling. Transfer the baked pizza to a cutting board.
Give the tomato and onion salad another toss. Then use a slotted spoon or tongs to top the baked pizza with the tomato and onion salad.
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