This pizza is food serendipity at its finest and is an illustration of how the best dishes often come from throwing together some things you have around or using leftovers in creative ways. I had planned a gourmet pizza the night before and for one reason or another it didn’t really work out. I didn’t have enough wet toppings and while the pizza was good, it wasn’t great. BUT, I did have a spare ball of dough resting in the fridge so thought I’d make a breakfast pizza.
I’ve just come back from the Hunter Valley, an anniversary trip for my partner and I that was an eating and drinking spree that should have been called the “Thank God I’m Not Vegan Anymore” tour! So. Much. Cheese! Binnorie Dairy was one of the places we stopped, almost by accident. I had heard of their cheese before but never eaten it, and after a tasting we walked out with a cooler bag filled with six or seven different cheeses! This pizza features one of my faves, the Chilli and Rosemary Marinated Labna. We also had an excess of eggs, heaps of kale, and a bunch of rocket that was still good but starting to wilt that I had turned into pesto the day before. As it turns out, combining breakfast ingredients like eggs, eggplant bacon, and mushrooms with good cheese, pesto, and leftover pizza dough is one of the best Saturday morning breakfast serendipity decisions you will ever make! You can easily do this by making this all from scratch, but it’s Saturday morning – you don’t want to go through too much drama before breakfast!
There are several components to this recipe that are made of recipes of their own – pizza dough, rocket pesto and eggplant bacon. These will be broken down separately below. You will also need:
2 free range eggs
2-3 mushrooms (I used a mix of button and swiss brown)
Pizza Base – I used a Jamie Oliver recipe that I found here. It works well, but take it from me, put it in a bowl to make the dough! I *may* have had a little runaway liquid when I tried to make it on a bench top that caused some momentary panic!
1/2 bunch of broad leafed rocket, chopped roughly (about two loosely packed cups)
1/4 cup raw almonds
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp crumbled Manchego cheese
Remove the bottom of the rocket stems and roughly chop the leaves and remaining stems. Chop the garlic and manchego. Add all ingredients to the food processor with a glug of olive oil and pulse 5-10 times to get everything chopped. Blend until smooth, drizzling in additional oil in small amounts to achieve a smooth and creamy consistency. You will have to scrape down the sides of the processor a few times as you go. Once blended to your liking, put in a clean jar and add a thin layer of olive oil to the top to stop the pesto oxidising.
Eggplant Bacon – I love this stuff – I’ve posted about it before here and here and it’s actually an Isa Chandra Moscowitz recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen. Check out Isa’s site if you haven’t already – the woman is a cat-lovin’ Joy Division listenin’ goddess!
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
Roll out your pizza dough, stretching it a little with your hands. It’s good to get a bit of a rustic feel, so don’t worry if it’s not perfectly round. Spread a generous amount of rocket pesto on the base with the back of a spoon, and layer chopped mushrooms and eggplant bacon across the pizza. Don’t get too heavy handed with your toppings as you will be cracking eggs across the pizza as well.
Carefully crack two eggs across the body of the pizza. The egg white might run off the edges a little but hopefully the mushrooms and eggplant bacon will hold it in the centre. Sprinkle with sea salt and chilli flakes. Scatter chopped curly kale across the pizza and place in a 180 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Remember that all ovens are a little different so keep an eye on the pizza. You want a nice brownness to the crust, and the egg cooked until it’s just firm.
Remove from the oven and crumble labna over the pizza. I used one ball but you could use two or three if you feel cheesy!
You can eat this all to yourself as a brunch dish, or share with someone awesome with a good cup of coffee. It’s Saturday. Enjoy a little lazing around.