I got this idea into my head when we decided we had to have BLTs one more time before the end of tomato season. D got what is probably the last of the tomatoes from Dirty Girl Produce at last Tuesday’s market, and they weren’t really that good, but good enough for cooking. We had BLTs for dinner, and I was thinking what kind of pizza to have to use more of the last tomatoes – and I thought, I wonder if you could make a BLT pizza? How would I do that? Bacon and tomatoes: obvious. Mozarella as an underlayment. But lettuce?? Then I remembered the broiled lettuce in a wonderful chicken/lettuce/tomato “bruschetta” recipe, and I realized that I could toss the lettuce in a light dressing and wilt it onto the pizza. We’re on!
It turned out well, but D & I decided that a few tweaks would be helpful. I use a 1/3 crust from the freezer, and pre-baked it 2 minutes instead of 1 1/2 b/c the oven was only up to 400 by that point (it was taking forever to preheat and I was impatient). I brushed the pre-cooked crust with olive oil (1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp) then put about 2/3 of the 4+ oz of grated mozzarella over it. D thought perhaps upping the cheese would be good. I am never against more cheese 🙂 I cut up 7 little early girls, eating the ends, and using 3 – 4 slices from each on the pizza; then I salted and peppered the tomatoes. I cooked 4 full-length slices (8 halves) of Niman Ranch dry-cured, apple-smoked bacon, which is rather thin-sliced, to done-but-less-then-crisp, and cut them into little matchsticks, and strewed these over the cheese and tomato slices, then topped with the rest of the mozzarella and baked about 5 minutes. I wonder if having the bacon in larger chunks would call more attention to it. I had torn up all the rest of our romaine into 1″ or so bits, excluding large stems and splitting smaller ones down the middle, to a total of just over 2 cups, loosely packed. I mixed together 1 tsp each of freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, and added a “smidgen” of salt (1/32 tsp), but both D and I think that less lemon would be better – 1/2 tsp or less, but up the olive oil to keep the liquid. There was enough lettuce, which surprised me. D suggested (per my query) that I try just putting the lettuce on the pizza and let the pizza wilt it, but the lettuce was all perky and crisp, so we decided to go to plan B – actually, back to plan A, b/c this is what I thought I would do originally – and I returned the pizza to the now-off oven for a minute, which wilted the lettuce nicely. So: 1 minute for wilting. I thought the pizza was a bit dry, but the extra cheese might help that, or a bit more olive oil underlayment. D thought there was too much lemon on the lettuce, but I’ve already discussed that. There was enough bacon (D) or not quite enough (moi). I also think doing this in high summer with peak tomatoes might be a key to having it be great instead of just good.
I found some perfectly lovely carrots – likely from the Tuesday market – in the fridge and cleaned and cut one up, and that was a nice addition. D selected a 2008 Brutocao cab to go with the meal, and it was good, but not a perfect match, I thought. Always lovely to have a Brutocao, of course, even one from Grocery Outlet. Had an un-given-away (as were most of them) Scharffen Berger chocolate for dessert.
Forgot to write about this right away, so filling in via photos on the 30th! Ah, one of D’s omelettes with piperade, from Gerald Heringoen’s Pinxos cookbook, on top, and some very beautiful Romano beans from the Bowl. Seems like some baguette pieces for bread. We had a half bottle of Nobilo with this, no doubt delicious.