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Brie and Broccolini Pizza

If you have read my pizza recipes before you know that I have a three step baking process and I am not a fan of tomato sauce.  It’s my own crazy system and you need not take part in the madness, but I do recommend you try it because you get a crunchy crust and fresh tomato flavor that you just can’t get with lots of sauce and a single step baking.  The red pepper broccolini in this recipe was leftover from dinner the night before, to make it I steam the broccolini lightly, blanch in ice water then sauté in olive oil and butter with salt and dry crushed red pepper.  Red pepper broccolini is a very simple but spicy veggie side dish and leftovers are an awesome pizza topping. The smoky chorizo mixed with the spicy broccolini is a perfect contrast for the sweet onions and balsamic reduction…so very good.

Homemade whole wheat pizza dough

Half a 6-8oz fresh mozzarella ball, sliced

This is pizza for grown-ups!!

6 oz brie, sliced

1 large tomato, sliced thin

1 small onion, sliced

1 Chorizo sausage (fresh or smoked your choice)

6-8 pieces of red pepper broccolini

½ cup balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with your pizza stone (if you have one) already inside the oven for at least a half hour. If you have a convection setting on your oven use it. Let your dough come to room temperature.

Roll out the dough use either your hand or rolling pin; don’t make the crust to thin. The dough is elastic feeling and you may need you to work with it a bit. If it’s keeps springing back into shape allow it to rest for 15 minutes and try again.

Have a cookie sheet or pizza peel nearby to place the dough on when it’s ready. Before you transfer the pizza sprinkle the cookie sheet and the top of the dough liberally with cornmeal.  Be sure to flip the rolled out dough over when you place it on the cookie sheet so the corn meal is now on the bottom of the pizza.  This will add a nice crunch to the dough and make it so you can slide the pizza off the cookie sheet and on to your heated pizza stone in the oven. You can also place a tea towel dusted with corn meal on the cookie sheet and use it to help you slide the pizza off the cookie sheet, see a video here of how this works.

Here it is my three part baking process…its more work but so worth it. First drizzle the crust with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then layer on the fresh mozzarella and half the brie; it will not take much cheese as it will spread as it heats. 

Slide on to the pizza stone and bake for about 5 minutes until the crust gets about half baked and the cheese is nice and bubbly. If the pizza gets stuck on the cookie sheet DO NOT PANIC, bake it on there, and next time add more corn meal to the bottom.

While the cheese is melting put the chorizo and onion in a pan with a little olive oil on the stove over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes.  If you are using fresh chorizo be sure to cook it completely. Then remove pan from heat and stir in thebroccolini.

Slide the hot pizza out of the oven on to the cookie sheet and add a layer of thin sliced salted tomatoes and return to the oven on the pizza stone for 3-5 more minutes until the tomatoes look like they have begun to soften, and slide back out of the oven.

Add all the rest of the toppings: chorizo, onion, broccolini and the rest of the brie. Then return the pizza to the oven to bake for 8-10 more minutes until the toppings are cooked and the crust is golden brown.

While the pizza is finishing baking reduce a half cup of balsamic vinegar to about 3-4 tablespoons over medium high heat on the stove.   Don’t over reduce or it will burn, also if you let it cool it will become very thick so leave the pan on very low heat once it has reduced. If this sounds like a lot of work you can buy premade balsamic reduction in the grocery store.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before you slice. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the pizza and you can serve any extra on the side with some olive oil.

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