Blue cheese on pizza is a classic pizza topping in Italy, and it’s making its way into American pizzerias. Blue cheese has an intense flavor and distinct smell. When combined with other toppings, it adds a flavor all its own.
What is Blue Cheese?
Blue cheese is the generic name for the ultimate stinky gourmet cheese. You have probably seen it in the grocery store. It’s tucked away near the other wedges of imported cheese. It’s a white cheese with colorful blue veins running through it. Blue cheese can be made from cow, goat, or sheep’s milk.
The blue veins are actually cultures of the mold Penicillium. This mold is different than the fuzzy green mold that you find on forgotten produce in the back of your fridge. That fuzzy green mold on your tomatoes produces toxins and is not safe to eat. But the mold from Penicillium does not produce toxins and is safe to eat. This mold is responsible for the strong smell and taste of blue cheese.
Where Does it Come From?
The legend goes that a shepherd was eating ewe’s cheese and bread in the countryside, and he was distracted by beautiful young women. He left his lunch to follow her, and when he returned months later, his leftovers were growing a blue mold. And according to folklore, that is how blue cheese was discovered. Science has since debunked the old tale.
There are several different types of blue cheese, and they can range from creamy to crumbly. Some have a sharper salty taste, and some lean toward a milder flavor. In the supermarket or specialty shop, you will find a variety of blue cheeses. They are sold as wedges and pre-made crumbles. Depending on the type, the price range can vary quite a bit. The two most common types are Gorgonzola and Roquefort.
This French blue cheese is thought to be the oldest form of blue cheese. It is made with sheep’s milk and comes from the south of France. It was originally aged in the limestone cliffs of the region. It has a complex sharp flavor. In the U.S., Roquefort has been mainly consumed in a popular salad dressing.
Gorgonzola is an Italian version of blue cheese that is made from cow’s milk. It comes from the Piedmont and Lombardy regions. It’s soft, creamy, and mild.
Health Benefits of Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is considered a healthy cheese due to its high calcium content. High calcium makes it excellent for fighting osteoporosis. In addition, blue cheese helps protect against heart disease. It has a compound called spermidine which is thought to protect the cardiovascular system. It’s a good source of protein too.
How to Use Blue Cheese in the Kitchen
Blue cheese is commonly used crumbled on salads or made into a creamy sauce to put on steak. It’s a great addition to a burger and crumbles well to thicken up soups and add a creamy texture. It compliments nuts and fruits and is a staple in charcuterie boards.
How to Use Blue Cheese on Pizza
Adding blue cheese on pizza is a simple way to add some pizzaz to your homemade creations. And combined with the right toppings, it makes an unforgettable pizza. Here are five delicious blue cheese on pizza recipes with this pungent cheese.
Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions Pizza
Sauté onions on low heat for 15 or 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stirring keeps the onions soft and translucent. Add two tablespoons of brown sugar and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Keep stirring them on low. Then, add sliced mushrooms and continue to cook on low.
The onions should be sticky and caramelized. Let cool. Then, add your red sauce and mozzarella. Add caramelized onion and mushroom mixture and top with a generous amount of blue cheese crumbles.
Pro Tip: Don’t let the onions burn. Caramelizing is a slow process, but stay close to the kitchen because you will need to start over if they burn.
Blue Cheese and Steak Pizza
Sauté thinly sliced beef strips with sliced mushrooms in a bit of oil with a sprinkle of salt for 3-4 minutes until the steak is cooked. I like to use skirt steak or sirloin cut very thin. Then, in a separate pan, cook some sliced white onions for a few minutes.
Add half a cup of heavy whipping cream and one-fourth a cup of blue cheese crumbles to the onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Let cool. Now take your pizza crust and add the creamy sauce.
Next, spread the beef and mushrooms evenly on the crust. Sprinkle with a bit of parsley and cook to perfection.
Blue Cheese, Artichoke, and Bacon Pizza
In a sauté pan, cook six strips of bacon. Don’t make them too crispy. Think chewy bacon. Set aside. Chop half a cup of artichoke hearts. When the bacon has cooled, roughly chop it.
Add a red sauce to the pizza crust and a small amount of mozzarella. Then, add chopped artichoke pieces, bacon, and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles.
Blue Cheese and Buffalo Chicken
Make your favorite buffalo chicken sauce and marinate the chicken pieces. Cook the chicken and let cool. Then add the cooked seasoned chicken to the pizza with blue cheese crumbled.
The lazy chef version of this is to season cooked chicken pieces with your favorite hot sauce instead of making a buffalo sauce. Both are delicious. The tang of the chicken fits perfectly with the creamy blue cheese.
Blue Cheese, Pear, Walnut, and Honey
This recipe is unique. The sweet crunch of the pear and creaminess of the cheese with crunchy walnuts is a delight. Start by whisking two teaspoons of olive oil and two teaspoons of honey. This is the sauce that you will add to the pizza crust. Then, sprinkle a little mozzarella. Next, place thinly sliced pears.
You can use Anjou or Bartlett. We recommend using what’s in season. Add the sliced pears evenly. Then, add chopped walnuts and a handful or two of crumbled blue cheese. You can add a little drizzle of honey before serving.
I hope you like these five different ways to eat blue cheese on pizza. If you haven’t tried blue cheese or never tried it on pizza, you are in for a treat. Tell us, what’s your favorite way to use blue cheese on pizza?