Brussels Sprout, Parmesan, and Burrata Skillet Pizza
Hot take: Debaucherous pizza story with a tragic ending coming at you. But then you get burrata as a reward for indulging me and reading this story.
So a couple of months ago, when I was freshly 25 years old, I went to some bars with my roommate and sampled a nice variety of Moscow mules. Maybe a greater variety than necessary, but it was all in the name of science. We didn’t leave the bars until 3am, and then we stumbled into &Pizza because pizza is a preemptive hangover cure and significantly better than water. Right? Right.
So I got my pizza (truffle sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic, broccoli, arugula, and fig balsamic, thanks for asking), and ate it and that should be the end of they story.
But the next day I opened my emails only to find one from Capital One requesting that I “Please confirm (my) recent purchase.” Ruh roh. I know this story. And it ends with someone purchasing several tickets from a fake Colombian travel agency and my credit taking a beating.
*March 4, 2018; 3:33am; &Pizza U Street–$10.50*
Okay COOL, no worries, that was me.
Wait a sec, this pizza place is 20 minutes from my house, and I’ve gotten pizza there several times before. And Capital One presumably knows this. Which means… they were just calling me out on the fact that staying out this late was very abnormal behavior for me.
Can’t they just let me pretend I’m a normal 20-something, a 20-something who regularly stays out late and then eats pizza instead of drinking water, like a somewhat irresponsible, yet still charming human being with reasonably good dance moves in the right lighting?
Well I guess it’s least it’s slightly less embarrassing now that I’ve crossed the threshold into my mid-twenties.
I’ll tell you one thing though, Capital One never questions the amount of cheese I buy at the Trader Joe’s. And I bet you aren’t complaining either because it means I can bring you recipes that pile the stuff on.
Like this Brussels sprout, parmesan, and burrata skillet pizza. I was absolutely tickled by the results of the experimental toppings and alternative cooking method. I consumed this entire pizza by myself in less than 24 hours, and I have the additional tummy fat to prove it.
Even as a white pizza lover, I often think white pizza is bland, texturally uninteresting, or slightly too garlic forward. I worked to combat these issues by:
- Using a nutty, flavorful cheese (all hail parm)
- Incorporating other ingredients with intense flavor–specifically red onion, black pepper, and lemon zest
- And adding crunchy Brussels and some creamy burrata to ~keep things interesting~
Let me also take a moment to worship at the altar of the cast iron skillet crust. It’s crunchy but with a delicate texture and crumb, like the outside of a good shortbread cookie. The real miracle is that I accomplished this crust with store bought pizza dough, using Bon Appetit’s brilliant cast iron skillet technique. The only pan you need is your cast iron, and the pizza slides out of the pan effortlessly.
So go dig your cast-iron out of that overflow box of kitchen items and let’s make some PIZZA.
|Prep Time||10 minutes|
|Cook Time||25 minutes|
|Passive Time||15 minutes|
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 5 oz Brussels sprouts shaved (1.5 cups)
- 1/2 small red onion sliced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 oz Parmesan cheese grate it yourself
- 1 small lemon zested
- 16 oz pizza dough
- 4-8 oz burrata
- black pepper
- additional parmesan for serving
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
- Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet on the range over medium-high for a few minutes. (If you are using a different size skillet, see the notes section below). Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into the skillet, and add Brussels sprouts and sliced onion. Season with salt and saute, stirring regularly, until onions become somewhat translucent and Brussels just begin to brown, about five minutes.
- Using a mitt or potholder, remove skillet from heat and scoop Brussels sprout and onion mixture into a bowl. Grind some black pepper on top of mixture, then toss with lemon zest and parmesan cheese.
- Next, prepare your dough. Stretch dough so that it's about 12 inches in diameter (you can eyeball it or use a tape measure), taking care to make sure that it's mostly an even thickness. Pizza dough is pretty elastic, and pretty forgiving, so don't stress if it takes you a few tries to get to a more-or-less round piece of dough of a more-or-less even thickness.
- Return the cast iron to high heat, and let it rest for a couple of minutes to ensure that the pan is sufficiently hot. Add a tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Then pick up the crust with your hands and gently place in the skillet. Use your fingers to carefully press the outer portion of the dough toward the edges of the skillet--it's easier than it sounds.
- Allow the dough to cook for a minute or so, then top with Brussels sprout and onion mixture. Cook over medium heat for an additional 5 minutes.
- Using both hands clothed in high-heat oven mitts (because that skillet is now very heavy and also very hot), transfer your pizza to the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges of the crust are visibly golden.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Then, use a plastic spatula to loosen the crust around the edges, and then pick it up with your hands. It should easily slide right out.
- Top with burrata, distributing it as you see fit (with more for your section of the pizza, obviously). Serve with additional parmesan and black pepper.
A couple of notes here on the crust:
Crust thickness: You won't achieve a very thin crust from this method, and frankly, it would be a bit dangerous to try, since you use your hands to place and adjust the dough in the cast iron skillet. What you will achieve is about 1/2 inch-thick crust with a crisp yet delicate bottom and soft interior. It's the best pizza crust I have yet to create in my kitchen, and I think you will also be pleased. If you are looking for something slightly thinner, try using about 12-14 instead of 16 ounces of dough, but be especially careful when placing in the skillet.
Pan size: This recipe works quite well with skillets of other sizes as well, but be sure to adjust the dough ratios correctly (a=πr², you remember geometry, right??). Hint: If you are using a 10-inch skillet, you'll only need about 2/3 of the dough.