Food blogging has introduced me to many things - some great friends, a renewed love of seasonal cooking, turning any baked good into red velvet, bacon in everything imaginable, and cookie dough treats galore. However, one thing that I didn't expect to gain from food blogging is my love of brussels sprouts. Just two years ago, not only had I never even tried a brussels sprout, but I wrinkled my nose at the mere mention of them. I know, I know, unfounded bias. But they are always the veggie that people use as an example of something gross. Then I saw tons of bloggers share recipes for brussels sprouts that actually looked... tasty. So I figured I should practice what I preach with my children and actually try it before I declare my hatred. So I kept it simple and just roasted them with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
And then something funny happened... I liked them! I couldn't wait to try out tons of new recipes that featured the cute little cabbages. But sadly, Joey wasn't a fan. He is always a good sport and tries anything, likes most foods, etc. So I try to honor it if he doesn't like a specific food. For the most part I relegated them to a side dish for me, while I roasted a pan of broccoli for Joey. Or I waited until he wasn't home for dinner to make a brussels sprouts-centric dish for Caroline and me.
But when Courtney posted a pizza featuring brussels sprouts, I decided to try again. I figured if anything would convert Joey to a brussels sprouts lover it would be pizza. With bacon. And cheese. Sadly, he said that it wasn't his favorite pizza ever... though he did still eat 3 pieces. And Caroline and Smith both loved it, so I'd consider that a win.
The brussels sprouts are tender, but they also get that super tasty char around the edges. Before being added to the pizza, they are tossed with some olive oil, a touch of vinegar, garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes to give them even more flavor. The original recipe called for cheddar, mozzarella, and feta, but I went with cheddar, Parmesan, and goat cheese. I think many combos would be great, including blue cheese (oh how I miss you...). Or if God-forbid, you aren't a fan of brussels sprouts, I think many other veggies would work well here - broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, corn, mushrooms... whatever you have on hand and love is sure to produce a fabulous pizza.
Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Pizza
adapted from Shutterbean, via Cook Like a Champion
- 1 lb pizza dough
- 4 pieces of bacon, chopped
- 5-6 Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 Tbs olive oil, plus more for brushing the dough
- 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp aged white cheddar
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
Place a pizza stone or sheet pan in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a medium skillet, stirring often, until just crispy and lightly browned, 4-4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve the bacon grease for another use.
In a medium bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with the shallots, garlic, oil, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.
On a piece of parchment paper lightly dusted with cornmeal, stretch the pizza dough into a 14-inch circle. Brush the perimeter with olive oil.
Sprinkle the dough with the cheddar and parmesan, leaving a thin border around the edge. Evenly distribute the brussels sprouts mixture, then top with the bacon and goat cheese.
Carefully transfer the pizza and parchment to the stone in the oven, and bake 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the toppings are cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cook 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.