Trust Us — Peanut Butter Belongs on Pepperoni Pizza

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When it comes to pizza toppings, there’s a lot of divisive combinations out there — pineapple and ham, lobster and corn, ranch and cheddar cheese — the list goes on and on. Despite how strange they may sound or how weird they may look on paper, it’s often these unique topping combinations that end up tasting the most delicious. Case in point: Gabriela Rodiles' Peanut Butter and Pepperoni Pizza. Yes, you read that correctly. Sweet, salty, spicy and altogether irresistible, it may just become your new favorite way to eat a slice of pizza this summer, and beyond.

Drawing inspiration from one of her favorite restaurants, Gab’s take on this beloved family dish begins with an adequately greased cast iron skillet and one pound of store-bought pizza dough that’s been brought to room temperature. “You can see how it’s nice and soft, so it actually spreads … if it’s too cold, the dough is going to retract right back,” Gab says at the very beginning her Food Network Kitchen class. She also notes that when pressing your pizza dough into your skillet, you should try to spread it out so that it’s an inch-thick along the sides. This not only helps keep your pizza from shrinking while it bakes, it’ll also ensure that your pizza’s edges get beautifully caramelized, forming the perfect crust.

Next comes the not so traditional part. “Trust me here,” Gab jokes as she spreads an ample amount of classic peanut butter across her pizza dough with a spatula. She then adds a generous cup of store-bought marinara sauce on top of it, followed by a heaping pile of grated mozzarella cheese, some pepperoni slices and a handful of finely chopped green jalapeno peppers.

After placing her pizza in the oven for 20 minutes of baking, Gab gets to work on her “house salad.” “It really is a nice contrast to the craziness of the pizza,” Gab says of this simple, yet flavorful side dish. Using the base of her salad bowl to put together her vinaigrette, Gab notes that she first learned the technique while watching Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis. “Whenever I make a vinaigrette in the bottom of a bowl, I always think of Giada," Gab shares. "I first learned to do this from Giada. She would always build her vinaigrette in a beautiful glass bowl. She’d mix it right before she entertained, and it just brings back all the good old days of watching Food Network. And here we are cooking on it now!”

Adopting this method as her very own, Gab goes on to add a clove of garlic, two splashes of red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, some honey, olive oil, salt and pepper to her bowl, where she says the ingredients will “marinate” after whisking them together. She then adds in some crispy chopped lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes, pepperoncini and red onion, and tosses everything together with salad tongs, noting that you can easily fill your salad with your own favorite ingredients. “This is something you can make time and time again, and adjust with whatever you have on hand,” Gab adds.

She then grabs her freshly baked pizza and drizzles its cheesy top with her hot honey. If you aren’t able to find hot honey in the grocery store, fret not — you can easily make it right at home by adding red chili flakes to your honey and steeping it on the stove for 30 minutes. “I love the sweet, I love the heat. It’s just the perfect combo,” Gab says about her nutty, syrupy and spicy creation.

Trust us — you’ll probably feel the same exact way when you take your very first bite, too!

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