Growing up, my mom cooked every meal. 3 meals a day (unless we were in school, where we did sometimes get school lunch), 7 days a week. I really admire her for that. But back then, I think my mom was more of a “cook to survive” kind of cook, instead of a “lets get creative in the kitchen” kind of cook. We had a regular rotation of meals, and it wasn’t very often that something new popped up on the menu. We ate lots of vegetables – especially in the summer because we had a large garden – but I had never had a leek until just a few years ago. In fact, if you would have asked me what a leek was 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have known!!
Being an onion fan, now I totally love them. My problem is, though, that I have the hardest time getting through the whole bunch of them when I buy them. None of my local grocery stores sell them individually – it’s always a bundle of 4 or 5 of them. Well, when you are cooking for only 2 adults and a toddler, that is a lot of leeks to go through! I have been trying to be a lot more conscious of my grocery purchases lately, trying not to let anything go bad or throw anything away, so I found myself brainstorming ideas for meals when I recently bought a big bunch of leeks. And for some reason, I started thinking up a pizza topped with leeks.
After a quick search online, I couldn’t find anything that was really what I was craving. So I thought to myself – it’s only pizza. How hard could it be to just throw things that sound good on top?? I’m so glad I decided to just throw this together, because it’s been one of my favorite pizzas to date!
Leek, Mushroom and Bacon Pizza
makes 1 pizza
total time: about 30 minutes
For the dough*
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-4 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half all-purpose)
For the sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
few grates of fresh nutmeg
For the toppings:
1 leek, chopped and cleaned
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 pound bacon, diced and cooked
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 cup freshly grated gruyere
Make the dough:
If using a pizza stone, put the stone in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 475F.
In a small bowl, mix the yeast and the water. Let sit until it foams.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a bowl if you are making it by hand), mix together the yeast mixture, olive oil, honey and salt. Add in the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is moderately stiff and somewhat firm. Add more flour if needed. Roll the dough into a circle and place it on a pizza peel (if using a pizza stone) or on a baking sheet. Cover while you prepare the sauce and toppings.
Make the sauce:
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Whisk in the milk and grate in a bit of nutmeg. Cook over medium heat until thickened.
Prepare the toppings:
Add the butter and olive oil to a large saute pan. Add the leeks and cook for a few minutes. Add in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have cooked down.
Put the pizza together:
Spread the sauce on the pizza, leaving a 1/2-1-inch border. Top with the leeks and mushrooms, then the bacon. Sprinkle the top of the pizza with the Parmesan and Gruyere. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the crust has browned and the cheeses are melted and bubbly.
*crust recipe from Linds Stew Foodies
Check out these other fabulous pizza ideas!
Portobello, Red Pepper and Pesto Pizza from Pinch of Yum
Classic Pepperoni Pizza from Recipegirl
Clams Casino Pizza from How Sweet It Is
Grilled Pizza from Dishing the Divine
Zucchini, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Thyme Pizza from Food Nouveau