Ok, so technically speaking, this little winner is called a Bacon-Avocado Griddle Pizza, but I didn’t griddle them, and somewhere along the way I renamed them in my head, so here we are. A new recipe for me, as soon as I saw the bacon in it, I knew it would make a perfect contribution to our recent bacon party.
A complete departure from your standard pizza, no tomato sauce, no cheese, and it’s not even heated. Given all that, I was surprised at how much I liked it, even The Husband went back for seconds, and commented on how good it was. A nice peppery bite from the watercress, crispy saltiness from the bacon and creaminess from the avocado, it’s a definite diversion, but worth making the trip.
I made a few small changes while making the recipe, mostly in the interest of cutting down time. Instead of playing with yeast, I used Pillsbury’s Pizza Dough, spreading it into a pizza pan, poking it all over with a fork and drizzling it with extra virgin olive oil before baking. The grocery store didn’t have any ripe avocados, so I used Costco’s premade guacamole instead. For store-bought stuff, it’s actually pretty decent, and saved a bit of time there too.
Perfect for a warm weather light meal on the deck, this one will definitely be making repeat appearances on our dinner table … hope it makes it to yours!
Bacon-Avocado Griddle Pizzas
From Every Day with Rachael Ray, May 2008
SERVES 4 (That’s crazy, even without my changes! Makes eight nice pieces, but we cut into 16 so everyone got a piece at our party)
Prep Time: 25 min (plus rising)
Cook Time: 40 min
2-1/4 cups flour (I skipped this and the next few ingredients, using Pillsbury Pizza Dough)
One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 avocados (I used ready-made guacamole instead)
One 12-ounce package bacon
1 bunch watercress
1. In a large glass, whisk together the water, 1 tablespoon flour, the yeast and sugar; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Using a food processor, combine the remaining flour and 1 teaspoon salt. With the machine on, pour in the yeast mixture and process until the dough forms a ball. Mix for another minute, then transfer to a large greased bowl, turning the dough to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (I skipped this whole step with the Pillsbury Pizza Crust).
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, shallot, olive oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature. In a medium bowl, mash the avocados; press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to cover.
3. Preheat a large skillet; add the bacon and cook, turning once, until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
4. Preheat a griddle over high heat or an electric griddle to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 4 pieces, then flatten each one into a disk. Stretch each disk into a 10-inch round (if dough is too elastic, let rest for 5 minutes). (I baked the Pillsbury crust in the oven, pricking it all over with a fork before popping it in.) Brush one side of each round with olive oil and, working in batches if necessary, transfer to the griddle, oiled sides down. Cook, lightly brushing the tops with more oil and flipping once, until browned, about 6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board.
5. Spread the avocado evenly on each crust, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Toss the watercress with the tomato mixture and scatter over the pizzas. Crumble the bacon on top.