Brussel & Bacon Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

I’m not one of those people that believes pizza is only marinara and an absurd amount of cheese. I love to experiment with sauceless pizzas, flatbreads, veggie centric versions or super indulgent and colorful pizzas. They are so much fun to make and totally possible even with a busy schedule thanks to the endless supply of store bought crusts.

If you live near a great pizza place that will give you some dough- thats obviously the best route to go. If you live near a Trader Joes, Whole Foods or Central Market they sell the raw dough in bags and you can roll it out yourself. Most of the time, I buy the uncomplicated thin crusts available in the same aisle as the pasta and marinara. I’m not bougie enough to make sure I have the best pizza crust recipe- especially when there is bacon involved.

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Ounces Peppercorn Goat Cheese (you can sub Ricotta if goat cheese isnt your thing, or a well seasoned spreadable cheese such as Boursin)
  • 1 Small Shallot sliced THIN (or 1/4 yellow onion sliced thin)
  • 1/2 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • 6 Pieces Bacon chopped
  • 1/8 cup shredded Mozzarella (more if you like more cheese)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Fresh ground black pepper
  • Pizza Crust (I use whole wheat, SUPER thin store bought crust for this, any is fine.)

For the balsamic reduction:

  • 1/3 Cup good quality Balsamic Vinegar

Recipe:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet on medium high heat, drizzle in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add your thinly sliced shallot or onion and cook until brown and caramelized. 5-8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

    2. Add your chopped bacon to the same skillet. Cook until crisp. While bacon is cooking prepare your brussels. Slice off the stem and shred the brussels with your hands, peeling back leaves and seperating them as much as possible.

    3. When bacon is crisp, use a slotted spoon and remove from the pan. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Discard most of the bacon grease but leave about a teaspoon in the skillet. Add brussels and carefully stir- they will pop and splatter a little due to their high water content. Add your salt and pepper. When the popping slows down, contintue to stir and cook on Medium High heat until the edges are golden brown and the brussels are tender. 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and turn off the stove.

    4. Build your pizza. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil on the crust, rubbing it into the sides and edges. Using a butterknife or silicone spatula, spread the goat cheeze in an even layer directly onto the crust. Top the goat cheese with the caramelized shallots, and HALF the bacon.

    5. Sprinkle the brussels in an even layer on top of the shallots and bacon. Then, evenly sprinkle the rest of your chopped bacon. Top with a light sprinkle of shredded mozzarella. If you buy a pre-baked thin crust similar to mine, you’ll need to bake this at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. You know its ready when the cheese is melted and the brussels are even more brown around their edges.

    6. While the pizza is baking, make your balsamic reduction. In a small saucepan over medium heat, pour in your Balsamic Vinegar. Keep a VERY close eye on it- you want tiny bubbles but never boiling. Stir occasionally until the liquid has been reduced by about half. It will become thicker and shinier, which means its been reduced into a sweeter more syrupy consistency and most of the acidity has been evaporated. This usually takes 5-10 minutes, and will need a few minutes to continue to thicken as it cools. If this process scares you but you love Balsamic Reduction, they sell it pre-made in almost any grocery store by the oils and vinegars.

    7. Remove your pizza from the oven and onto a cutting board. Drizzle the balsamic reduction onto the pizza sparingly. Cut with a super sharp knife and enjoy!

    IMG_5225IMG_5226

    This pizza tastes super sophisticated and is such a nice change from the usual pepperoni. The shallots are sweet, the goat cheese is tangy and creamy, the brussels are nutty and complex and the bacon is perfectly salty and smoky.

Plus, putting Brussels on my pizza makes me feel like a grown up.

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