Serving shaved brussels sprouts on a pizza is a great way to introduce younger kids to this somewhat strong-tasting vegetable. The flavor of brussels sprouts, like most cruciferous veggies, mellows with cooking. Here, they are sautéed with red onion and finished with a touch of balsamic vinegar to add a bit of sweetness. If you like, you can save time by using your favorite prepared pizza sauce in place of the homemade tomato sauce. The recipes for the dough and tomato sauce make enough for two pizzas, so double the quantity of toppings and make two pies if you like, or save the remaining sauce and dough to make pizza later in the week.
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pizza
For the pizza dough:
- 3 1/3 cups (17 oz./530 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) whole-wheat flour
- 1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) quick-rise yeast
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) warm water (110°F/43°C), plus more as needed
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
For the tomato sauce:
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (15 oz./470 g) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon
- 3/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) brussels sprouts, halved and cored, outer leaves kept whole and the rest sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 8 oz. (250 g) fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
1. To make the pizza dough, in a food processor, combine the flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix the ingredients. With the motor running, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream, and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If the dough does not form into a ball, sprinkle with 1 to 2 tsp. water and pulse again until a rough mass forms. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Process the dough again for 25 to 30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce. In a small fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to let it scorch or the garlic will taste bitter.
4. In a bowl, stir together the garlic-oil mixture, tomatoes, dried basil, oregano, thyme, pepper, 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) water and 1 1/2 Tbs. of the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and additional vinegar. Set aside 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) to use for the pizza. The remaining 1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./440 g) can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. If you are using only one ball of dough, place the second ball in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. (When ready to use, thaw the frozen dough for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.)
6. Place a pizza stone in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Once the oven has reached 450°F (230°C), let the stone continue to heat for an additional 15 to 30 minutes, without opening the door.
7. In a fry pan over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble or tear it into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
8. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat in the pan and return to medium-high heat. Add the brussels sprouts and onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the vegetables soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and sauté until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
9. On a floured pizza peel, stretch or roll out the pizza dough into a rectangle or a 12-inch (30-cm) square, with even thickness across the square. If the dough springs back, let it rest for about 10 minutes before continuing. Leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border, spread the sauce over the dough and top with the cheese. Distribute the brussels sprouts and bacon evenly around the pizza. Brush the outside edge of the dough with olive oil and season the whole pizza lightly with salt and pepper.
10. Carefully slide the pizza from the peel onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Let cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve immediately. Serves 4.
For this and more ideas for pizza you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Pizza Night, by Kate McMillan