We ran out of bread, so I took over cooking, with plans to make a pizza. I said to D, “I should make a pizza with dandelion greens,” (there being many plants still in the yard) and D said, “well, we have bacon.” I was puzzled until he continued to list ingredients, and I realized he was thinking of mimicking the bacon/scallion/dandelion green pancakes with lemon/parsley butter that we had on the 23 April (and for lunch last week). What the heck. And… it worked!
I used 1/3 recipe of my usual pizza dough – which in this version was 1/3 whole wheat flour, with 1 tsp sugar added to the whole recipe. I used regular flour, rather than bread flour. The remaining 2/3 of the dough were frozen separately for two future pizzas.
I was intending to cook the dough and most of the toppings all at once, rather than precooking the dough 1 1/2 minutes, because I wanted to leave time for the bacon bits to cook well. (Putting raw pancetta onto the pizza worked fine.) However, D thought the bacon should be precooked. So I put the bacon bits (one thickish slice, cut into thirds lengthwise and then into little squares) into a tiny bit of olive oil and cooked at medium-high, and then medium, for about two minutes. I blotted them on paper towels. D also thought the scallions should be precooked, so I tried that, too. It had the advantage of introducing butter into the recipe, which is plentiful in the pancake recipe this is based on. So I cooked about 2 sliced scallions (white and green parts) in butter for a minute or two to soften them. I would use more scallions next time – perhaps 4. I grated 2 1/2 oz part-skim mozzarella and strewed it over the pre-cooked crust, and then distributed the scallions and bacon bits over the cheese.
…and then removed it and distributed dandelion greens over the top. These were about two dozen 9″ leaves from the front yard, washed carefully and center stems removed, then cut into 2″ or so lengths. I would cut them smaller next time, as they tended to bunch together and come off in a group when I took a bite. I put the pizza back into the oven for one minute to wilt the dandelions, and then tossed on a small handful of chopped parsley. I’m not sure the parsley did a lot, but D suggested next time to cook it in butter with the scallions and add it to the pizza with them. Finally, I spooned over the pizza a mixture of
1 1/2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice and an equal volume of olive oil.
It turned out well! The crust was really crispy and the toppings were delicious, though some dry spots made us think of the suggestions included above. An advantage of precooking the bacon was that I didn’t have to leave the bacon in the oven for the entire cooking time, and therefore could pre-cook the crust by itself for the first couple of minutes, which makes loading it onto the stone much easier.
I also cut up a large head of baby bok choi and cooked it in the butter I had cooked the scallions in. I have decided that making a smaller pizza (1/3 crust instead of 1/2 crust) and having a veggie is better for our health, so I may continue to do this. I didn’t feel cheated by this size of pizza.
We had leftover wines with this – the Valreas Cotes du Rhone Villages from last night and the Chateau la Vernede from Languedoc from three nights ago.