If you had asked me two years ago how I felt about Brussels Sprouts, I probably would have made some horrid face and said something along the lines of: “they’re too bitter,” or “ugh – gross, tiny cabbages are funny looking and should be outlawed” or maybe even “DIS-gusting. Blech.” Which is mature.
Had you told me two years ago that Brussels Sprouts would be my favorite dish at an upscale Steak House, or that I’d be preparing them weekly for my family, I most likely would have laughed at you. Maniacally.
But, ‘lo and behold, you would have been right. Have I mentioned that I hate it when you’re right? Except in this case, where I’m delighted, because now I have a whole new vegetable added to my repertoire. And what a versatile vegetable it is.
You can roast it at high heat, drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. I could eat these little babies like candy. Sometimes I’m not sure if they’ll even make it to the dinner table, since I just stand over the skillet and eat them one by one by one. So good.
Or maybe raw, in a shave salad with pomegranate arils and pecorino romano cheese. I made this at Thanksgiving, and it was a big hit. It was a variation on this recipe from Food 52.
Last night, though, I decided to try them on pizza, and I may have just died and gone to heaven. Seriously, y’all – THIS is my new favorite way to consume Brussels sprouts. And I do realized that I’m sometimes prone to hyperbole – but not in this case. This right here is good stuff.
The sprouts get good and caramelized, which gives them a sweet, nutty flavor. They sit on a base of heavy cream and mozzarella cheese, and are complimented by salty bacon and mild red onion. The whole thing is topped off by sharp, tangy Pecorino Romano cheese, which just rounds out the whole experience. I ate three pieces, and could have probably finished off the entire pizza, but I guess that might have been excessive (plus, my husband probably wouldn’t have appreciated it very much).
Pizza with Brussesl Sprouts, Bacon and Pecorino Romano
prep time: 10 minutes
bake time: 15 minutes
yields: 8 slices
- Pizza dough for one pizza (use your favorite homemade or store-bought fresh dough)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/3 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 ounce pecorino romano cheese, finely shredded
- Begin by preheating your oven to 425F
- Roll out your pizza dough to a 12-inch diameter circle. I’ve recently purchased a Zojirushi breadmaker, and have been using their pizza dough recipe (subbing freshly ground wheat flour for the bread flour the owner’s manual calls for). I can’t say enough good things about this machine, but will save the details for a dedicated post.
- Drizzle the raw dough with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and par-bake on a baking sheet in your preheated oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a pizza peel.
- Sprinkle the hot par-baked crust with the mozzarella cheese and evenly drizzle with the heavy cream
- Spread the sliced Brussels sprouts, bacon and onion evenly over the crust
- Sprinkle the romano cheese over the top of the pizza
- Using the pizza peel, transfer the pizza back to the preheated oven, placing it directly on the oven rack
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the sprouts have begun to caramelize (they will get brown and crispy on the eges).