Sprouts made tasty: Roasted brussel sprout pizza!

Friends, meet my new favourite pizza.

No-knead crust, smeared with roasted garlic and topped with rounds of crunchy brussel sprouts, slivers of red onion, and just a bit of mozzarella. It doesn’t sound like much. But team, I assure you: this pizza is amazing.  

Upload from April 16, 2012

The combination of ingredients came to me by way of my sister and brother-in-law, who themselves were introduced to it by a pair of friends. The story, if I recall it correctly, was that the four of them, after having consumed this pizza, promptly made and devoured note one, but two, more. I think a grocery store trip was required. That, friends, is not the kind of pizza you ignore.

So I made it. And, after pulling my zillionth (third) round out of the oven in a single month, I figured it was about time I passed the pizza along to you. Kind of like a chain mail, only highly edible and not at all annoying. (You should, though, keep the magic alive and share the recipe with a friend, because the results are a tangled mess of caramelized, cheesy glory. Which, you know, is almost better than finding out the meaning of life, but I’m sure that that particular chain email will pop up in your inbox in no time.)  

Upload from April 16, 2012

Now, a word on brussel sprouts. Because while I know we’re all grown-ups here, I know too that the brussel sprouts, in all their squiggly greenness, aren’t always synonymous with super-tasty. Rarely, actually, thanks to the age-old tradition of boiling the poor things until they’re a soft and soggy mess.

But here – where they’re sliced thin and roasted– they sing. A happy song, full of rich earthiness and crunching noises. And when you combine it with the sweet mellowness of roasted garlic and red onion and the smooth strings of melted mozzarella, it’s all balance and texture, and so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s a bit of an experience, really.  

Upload from April 16, 2012

Now, my guess is that you can make this pizza with success using any pizza dough recipe. But I really have to advocate for the no-knead variety I shared last year. It takes time to rise and might seem tricky to work with – the dough is quite wet – but it’s nothing a bit of patience and a good dusting or two of flour can’t handle. For the crackle of a crust that has both bite and chew, that will bubble and rise and add a whole dimension of delicious flavour of its own, it’s so worth the wait. 

Brussel Sprout Pizza
Recipe via my sister and brother-in-law, via their friends
Makes 1 9-inch pizza

1 ball of pizza dough, large enough for 1 9-inch pizza (I used half of this recipe)
1 head of garlic, roasted*
3 cups of thinly-sliced brussel sprouts (about 1/2 cm thick)
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 cup or so of shredded mozzarella cheese
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat and lightly coat parchment/Silpat in olive oil. Place dough on the oiled pan and shape dough into a rectangle using whatever tool’s best suited for the job (for no-knead dough, fingers work best).

2. Squeeze cloves of roasted garlic onto the pizza. Using the back of a spoon gently spread garlic mush nearly to the edges of the dough (this is essentially your sauce).

Upload from April 16, 20123. Top dough with an even layer of sliced brussel sprouts. Drizzle sprouts with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, then top evenly with red onions and cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden, cheese is bubbly and sprouts and onions are beginning to caramelize. Let cool for a minute or two before cutting into slices and serving.  

Upload from April 16, 2012

*To roast a head of garlic: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lop off just enough of the top of the head to expose the tips of each clove and discard the top bit. Place the remaining head into a big piece of tinfoil that you’ve shaped into a bit of a bowl, then pour a generous amount of olive oil overtop of the head, so that the oil runs into the spaces between the exposed cloves. Fold the sides of the tinfoil over the garlic so that the garlic completely enclosed in tinfoil. Place the wrapped garlic, cut side up, in the oven and roast for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour if you can manage it — the longer you wait, the sweeter and more roasty the garlic will be. 

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