Step up your pizza game in a seriously delicious, fancy schmancy way! Roasted Brussels sprouts, crispy prosciutto, creamy Gruyere and a honey balsamic drizzle make this one friggen fantabulous pizza!
“Why’d you have to go and ruin pizza by putting not normal veggies and fancy schmancy stuff on it???” asks Mr. Fantabulous. Um because I can! Deal with it toots. And he did.. by letting me eating the whole pizza myself. Oh trust me I was totally cool with that as this pizza was so friggen good that I even impressed myself. It’s funny as the items I put on this pizza he loves…separately. Apparently by putting them on a pizza I’m breaking some food law according to my husband. Now my husband will swear up one side and down the other that he is not picky however I swear he’s worse than I am – at least when it comes to pizza.
He’s the man that says “Order whatever you want on a pizza as long as it’s plain”. Yes, plain. The man prefers plain cheese pizza. And every single time he asks for a plain cheese pizza I think of Kevin and that pizza scene from the movie “Home Alone”… ‘a lovely cheese pizza just for me’. But this time this pizza was for me.. ALL ME! Well okay I’d share with you if you were here!
This is one of those pizzas I so wish my parents were still around to see. By that I mean not see the pizza but rather see me eat it… willingly. Now when I say I was a picky kid I mean I was as seriously picky kid. We’re talking no chunky sauces, absolutely no onions, no weird things – pretty much it had to be buttered noodles, pb&j, corn and mashed potatoes. And pizza but it had to have enough cheese to choke a horse and pepperoni. OMG if you even waved a mushroom near it I was squinching up my nose as tight as I could.
However now I’m buying Brussels Sprouts, onions and mushrooms … ON PURPOSE! And more importantly I love them. Well okay I hate raw onions but cooked they rock. What I’ve been doing actually lately is once a week I’ll roast up a huge sheet pan of Brussels Sprouts for the week. I love them in frittatas, on their own, as a snack and a side dish. And what’s also awesome about them is that they are killer raw. I love them in my shaved Brussels sprouts salad!
Normally in our house Friday nights are pizza nights however it was a seriously long and rough week at work. By the time I got home from work that Friday, after sitting in traffic for almost 4 hours – yes 4 hours, the last thing I wanted to do was make pizza dough. It’s not hard but it was already 7pm and I didn’t feel like waiting for it to rise twice nor make it at midnight. Mama needed to be in bed by 10pm. So instead that next morning I threw together a batch of pizza dough however I wasn’t paying attention and ended up making a double bath of pizza dough. Not that, that, is a bad thing but it’s only the two of us and that’s A LOT of pizza!
So after the first rise I split the dough up leaving one ball bigger and the 2nd a tad smaller since I knew it would be just for me. Again, I’m not seeing a problem with this. While the dough was on its second rise I threw in a tray of sprouts to roast. When they came out I immediately put a few of them on a plate, grated some cheese on top and had some lunch.
As I was eating my ‘lunch’ I kept thinking about that 2nd batch of dough. I mean I already knew it would be one that I could play with topping-wise because he would have his own plain cheese pizza. Pizza to me is the best food on the planet. You say “No, Lobster is” I will respond with “No, Lobster pizza is”. Pizza dough is the blank canvas of the food world. You can make it your masterpiece.
Anyway I had to put the whole pizza making thing out of my mind as I had to get stuff done around the house. Mr. Fantabulous was tiling the bar/kitchenette area in the media room downstairs and needed my help. Now when I say he needed my help what that translates into is Lori is the tool wench. “Honey get me this.” “Honey can you go rinse this out and clean the tools 472 times?” or the whole “Honey just sit there and watch me work and don’t leave because as soon as you leave the room I’ll ask you for 876 things.” I am now the master bucket-cleaner-outer here people.
Seriously people I can now say with 100% certainty I hate, no, LOATHE home renovation. Chip and Joanna Gaines we are not. I know way too much about screws, tile saws, grouting, plastering, thinset, hardie backer and laser levels than any non-professional remodeler should. I know the layout of Home Depot and Lowes memorized aisle by freaking aisle. It’s so bad that these people know us by name when we walk in!
Finally I was ‘dismissed’ from hard labor as apparently it was lunch time. Yeah.. the man was hungry. LOL So I went upstairs to make us some lunch. When he came up he spied the tray of roasted sprouts on the oven and started to snack on those. Since I wasn’t real hungry and he was going to be having pizza in a few hours I made us more of a charcuterie board full of cheeses (prosciutto, salami and so forth), some olives, cheeses and for kicks some of the sprouts.
So here’s the thing – all of those items I listed that were on the pizza, were on this charcuterie board…that the man INHALED and loved. Yet when I put them on my pizza later that night you would have thought I committed the most sacrilegious food sin ever! I mean the look of disdain and utter “how could you???” was actually quite comical.
It was actually that charcuterie board that gave me the pizza topping inspiration. It was so delicious as a snack that I knew it would rock on pizza. However where I was stumbling on was the sauce. Pizza sauce would have been too much flavor-wise and straight olive oil, while good was a bit one note. You needed something sweet and acidic to balance out the flavors – salty, creamy and roasted.
So I sat there in deep thought only to hear those words a wife longs to hear from her husband…“Honey can you take this bucket of cement outside and scrub it out before it crusts up?” Yeah, I know, you’re jealous but don’t be… REALLY, don’t be. LOL While I’m washing out the bucket I’m really not paying attention to what I’m doing as I’m daydreaming about that pizza and what I’m going to use as a sauce. At the same time I see something black and furry out of the corner of my eye and panic.
You see where I live is truly in the country. I have more than my fair share of wild life – skunks, deer, muskrats, ground hogs, those damn friggen roosters next door (seriously can’t stand them), cats and bears. Yes bears. The last time I cut my grass I literally had to ride on the tractor with my gun in the holster. Nice, huh? So when I saw something black and fuzzy about 10 feet from me I froze. My biggest fear is having a baby bear cub come up to me and Mama bear thinking I’m trying to hurt her baby or a skunk. Skunks, as cute as they are, yeah no… I don’t wanna be close to it ever.
So I’m standing there, hand in ice cold water and a hose with rag in the other. My mind is racing with a plan of how I’m going to defend myself (cause again I’m thinking I’m gonna get attacked by some wild beast) when all of a sudden the thing moves closer towards me. I made eye contact with the wild beast and then chuckled. It was a VERY FAT and pregnant black squirrel. It had a huge fuzzy tail and was ticked off that I was going to steal its stash of nuts.
Yeah I’m pretty much a big baby when it comes to being in the woods. I blame this house and neighborhood. I’m sorry but where I grew up, our wildlife included deer and ground hogs, none of this bear crap.
Anyway, I went back inside and helped him finish cleaning up. Well while we were downstairs I went back into my storage room (where I keep all of my supplies) and happened to spy a bottle of balsamic vinegar. For me I don’t like balsamic vinegar on its own – it’s way too bitter for me. However when you reduce it with some honey or brown sugar it transforms it into something truly spectacular.
Later that night while he was picking out the movies for us to watch I threw in my pizza first and then his. Well while his was cooking I was cutting mine. He came out to the kitchen and saw my ‘not normal pizza’ and his expression was hysterical! Like he didn’t want to freak out or get upset but his face said it all. He finally said “Why’d you have to go and ruin pizza by putting not normal veggies and fancy schmancy stuff on it??? I don’t want that crap on it, you ruined it. Baby! I was looking forward to your pizza all day.”
I just grinned and pulled out his lovely plain cheese. He went from a face of “well this sucks” to “OMG you are the bestest wife ever!” LOL Now what’s funny is I asked him to try a bite of my pizza but he just turned his nose up and said “No, that’s not real pizza. You ruined it by putting all that crap on it.” I just responded with “You mean the crap you inhaled over lunch???”
Silence… well except both of us eating our own respective pizzas.
- 1 16 ounce Best Pizza Dough
- 3 cups Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 4–5 Tbl olive oil
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 10–12 pieces of prosciutto, roughly torn
- 1 1/2 cups gruyere crumbles *can use smoked gouda
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2–3 Tbl honey *optional
- Preheat oven to 400F, rack in the middle.
- On a rimmed baking sheet add the Brussels Sprouts. Drizzle 3 Tbl olive oil over top then sprinkle on the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Use your hands to gently coat and toss the sprouts on the pan.
- Place the sprouts cut side down on the pan and roast for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, flip and place the pan back in the oven roasting for another 8-10 minutes or until the sprouts are tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Thirty minutes before baking (and the dough is ready), place a Pizza Stone on the lower third rack or invert a metal pan and place on the rack. *if using a Pizza Screen , do not preheat the screen!
- Raise the oven temp to 550F for 30 minutes.
- Stretch the dough into a round, thin crust (14-16” round), leaving the outer edge slightly thicker. If using the pizza stone or inverted pan, stretch out the dough and place on a flour dusted paddle. If you don’t have a paddle stretch out on a flour/corn meal dusted parchment paper.
- Drizzle the dough with the remaining 2 Tbl of olive oil. Top with the prosciutto, roasted sprouts and cheese crumbles. Bake on the lower third rack for 7-8 minutes, open the oven door and move the pizza to the middle rack. Bake for another 3-4 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt slightly. I like my crust a little crispy so I go for the full 4 minutes.
- While the pizza is baking place the balsamic vinegar and honey in a pan over medium heat. Bring the pan to boil, stirring frequently and reduce the heat to low. Allow to reduce to a syrup (about 10 minutes). The liquid should coat the back of a spoon. Be careful however now to burn this or have the heat up too high. Remove from the heat, place in a glass container and allow to cool.
- When the pizza is done, remove from the oven and place on a pizza pan or a large cutting board. Cut the pizza and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.
- Serving Size: 1 slice, 8-10 cuts