10.21.14 Brussels Sprout and Ricotta Pizza
Brussels sprouts are, hands down, my favorite vegetable. Yes, yes, I know we’ve talked about this before, but still. With full-blown brussels sprouts season upon us, I’m feeling the need to once again proclaim my appreciation for these cute little crucifers. After all, it’s not every day one can easily procure a semi-obscene amount of one’s favorite vegetable. I mean, I’m buying these things by the stalkful. You can find me, most days, roasting up a big batch of sprouts for supper, tossing them into salads, baking them into gratins, and even, horrifyingly, eating them for breakfast. I have a problem.
My latest and greatest brussels sprouts creation though, would have to be the brussels sprout pizza. In fact, I feel a little silly for having gotten this far in life without having made this before, seeing as how I consider myself to be quite an avid supporter of both brussels sprouts and pizza. It’s genius; the combination of two of my favorite foods into one, amazing überfood seems almost too good to be true. The key word here being almost. Because it is in fact real. And it’s pretty spectacular.
And to all of you would-be brussels sprout haters, fear not. Even YOU may yet enjoy this pizza. For while it is topped with copious amounts of lovely, green, garlicky, brussels sprout leaves, delightfully crisped to perfection, it is also topped with bacon. Oh, and three kinds of cheese! Yes, even someone previously at loathe to eat these bitter little brassicas, may be able to set aside their differences once they experience the utter cheese nirvana that is this pizza. It’s just that good.
Brussels Sprout and Ricotta Pizza
makes 1 large pizza
Yes, peeling the leaves off of the brussels sprouts is a little bit of a pain. But trust me, the result is wonderful - crisp crunchy leaves, with no hard, undercooked cores. The trick is to use large, leafy sprouts; cut the base off the sprout and the leaves will peel right off.
- Pizza Dough, recipe follows
- 1 tsp cornmeal
- 3 slices bacon, cut into pieces
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups (loosely packed) brussels sprouts leaves (peeled from about ½ lb brussels sprouts)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup grated low moisture mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ Tbsp red chile flake
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Grease a baking sheet or large pizza pan with cooking spray and sprinkle it with the cornmeal. Place dough in the center of the pan and spread all the way to the edges, spreading dough as thinly as you can without tearing it. Let pizza dough rest while oven heats and you prep the rest of your toppings. (hint - if you’re having trouble spreading the dough all the way to the edges, spread it as far as you can, then let it rest for about 5 minutes. After resting, it will be easier to finish spreading the dough all the way to the edges of the pan).
3. In a pan over medium heat, cook the bacon pieces until crisp. Remove from the pan, and set aside on a paper towel to drain, leaving excess bacon grease in the pan.
4. Add the shallot and garlic to the bacon grease in the pan, and cook over medium heat until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the brussels sprout leaves, and continue to cook, stirring often, until they are just slightly wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
4. Top pizza dough with the olive oil and spread it so it covers the surface of the dough all the way to the edges. Dot ricotta cheese evenly over the pizza crust, followed by the shredded mozzarella, brussels sprouts mixture, bacon, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle chile flakes over the top, then pop into the oven.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until crust is browned, cheese is bubbly and brussels sprout leaves are crisp. Enjoy immediately!
Makes 1 large pizza
More in-depth details on perfect pizza dough here.
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 cups flour (preferably bread flour)
- 1 tsp salt
1. Dissolve yeast and honey in water, let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Combine the flour and salt and a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the liquid ingredients, stirring until ingredients are just combined. Let sit for 10-20 minutes. (note: this sitting stage allows the gluten network to start forming through hydration, which will cut down on your overall kneading time by about 50%. If you’d rather not wait, you can start kneading immediately, and you will just end up needing to work the dough for about 6-8 minutes to build up a sufficient gluten network).
3. Knead dough until a smooth cohesive ball forms and dough passes the ‘windowpane test’ (should take about 2-4 minutes if you rested the dough in the previous step, otherwise about 6-8 minutes).
4. Spray a bowl with cooking spray, put dough into bowl, turning to coat both sides of dough with oil. Cover bowl and let sit at room temperature for 60-90 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.