Pizza with crispy sprout leaves
Brussels sprout leaves are often shamefully thrown out. You know, you chop sprouts, and throw away the leftovers. Well they make an awesome pizza topping — brown and crispy, like few things vegetarian. Smoked mozzarella is great — highly recommend it over the plain stuff.
Makes a 12 inch pizza with a very thin crust — good for 1-2 people. Michael Phelps could probably eat 3 of these.
1 cup canned plum tomatoes (or chopped fresh ones), without juice. I like any tomato imported from Italy. TJs or Whole Foods house brands are perfectly fine. Redpack is horrible.
.5 can tomato paste. Ditto on tomatoes.
4 cloves garlic, peeled
About 10 fresh leaves of basil
salt + pepper
hot pepper flakes
.5 bag Trader Joe’s pizza dough (I liked the herbed one. Any is fine)
1 cup Brussels sprout leaves, well washed and dried
.5 red onion, peeled and sliced
.25 cup Moroccan oil cured olives, chopped + pitted (Sahadi’s are awesome, for you Brooklynites)
.25 cup smoked mozzerella, shredded
Chop garlic and basil in a food processor or mini chopper. Add all other ingredients. Pulse a few times (I like to leave a little chunky) and adjust seasonings to taste. Strain well — a runny sauce makes for soggy pizza (but the juice is delicious. would be nice for braising the sprouts you may be serving alongside this pizza).
Use half a bag of TJs herbed pizza dough – one bag makes 2 pizzas. Leave dough out of fridge for about 20 minutes before rolling.
Preheat oven to 450. If using a pizza stone, make sure you put in a cold oven before preheating. Otherwise, it’s fine to use a cookie sheet topped with foil — just leave it out when preheating. You’ll just assemble pizza on sheet outside oven.
Prep your toppings. You probably have a pile of separated Brussels sprout leaves that fell off when chopping sprouts for a side dish. Wash and dry the leaves well, pit and chop the olives and slice the onions thinly.
Roll out dough on a table dusted with cornmeal. Dust sheet or stone with cornmeal — this is especially important on the sheet, as without cornmeal your dough will stick (badly) to foil.
Using a wooden pizza tray, drop pizza on sheet or stone and bake. Check on pizza after 6-8 minutes — you want it to be lightly brown, with room to cook a few more minutes.
Remove pizza and top — spread with a thin layer of sauce. Sprinkle on onions and olives, grate cheese directly on top and top the whole thing with a nice pile of sprout leaves. Bake for about 5 more minutes, until leaves are toasted around edges but not blackened to sawdust.
Serve pizza piping hot. Extra pecorino, a dash of lemon juice and a little olive oil are all nice toppings.