Before reading Sarah Copeland’s cookbook Feast, I’d assumed breakfast pizza was code for last night’s pizza fresh from its greasy cardboard box. Don’t get me wrong. I love pizza for any meal, hot or cold. Pizza and I have been besties since I was old enough to chew. So it is with great joy and sorrow that last weekend marks the first time I’ve eaten pizza topped with oven-baked eggs.
My friend and local pizza consultant, Joan, assures me that egg-topped pizza is old school. She’s one of the hippest people I know, though, so she’s likely way ahead of my other friends when it comes to sopping up egg yolk with pizza crust. Joan, I dedicate this breakfast pizza recipe to you. To many more years of friendship, filled with breakfast pizza and Sweet Valley High sports car test-drives.
Below you’ll find a recipe for breakfast pizza that melds the sour tang of sautéed mustard greens and aged cheddar and the creaminess of farm fresh eggs with a chewy cloud of pizza crust. The next time I make this recipe, I’ll experiment by prepping homemade dough the previous day. For this round, I relied on Trader Joe’s whole-wheat pizza dough. If you have a TJ’s nearby, don’t get hung up on making your own dough when you’re short on time; it’s embarrassingly delicious for its price.
Finally, the recipe calls for mustard greens, which I used to good effect, but if you can’t find fresh mustards at your grocery store, other dark, leafy greens like kale or chard will work well, too.
Mustard Greens, Eggs, and Cheddar Breakfast Pizza
(adapted from a Sarah Copeland Feast recipe)
Serves 2-3 as main course
– fine cornmeal for dusting
– flour for dusting
– 1 14- to 16-oz ball homemade pizza dough, or purchased pizza dough, at room temperature (I used Trader Joe’s dough this time, but here’s an easy homemade recipe I use.)
– 1/4 cup sharp white cheddar or Comté cheese, coarsely grated (I used extra sharp white cheddar.)
– 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
– 1/2 bunch mustard greens (You can substitute with lacinato kale if your grocery store doesn’t carry fresh mustard greens.)
– salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 475°F and place a rack in the bottom third of the oven. If using a pizza stone, sprinkle a pizza peel or paddle lightly with cornmeal. If using a baking sheet, preheat it in the oven until it is very hot and then dust it with cornmeal.(I let the stone heat for at least 20 minutes before baking pizza.)
2. On a well-floured work surface or the peel or paddle, sprinkle the dough and your hands with flour. Stretch the dough with your hands to make any shape of pizza you please, roughly 12 inches round or oblong, stretching the edges lightly to form a circle, oval or rectangle that is evenly thin throughout the middle. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared pizza paddle or hot baking sheet with both hands.Top the pizza with the cheddar cheese.
Before you let the dough bake here, do yourself a favor and create three, evenly spaced indentations in the dough. These “potholes” will serve as placeholders for the eggs that you’ll be adding later in the recipe. I didn’t do this, and I lost one of the raw eggs in the oven when it slid off the pizza. Through some fancy maneuvering I was able to sneak in another egg to bake, but it was a nail-biter.
3. If using a pizza stone, slide the pizza onto the hot stone, and place it in the oven. If using a baking sheet, place the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake until the pizza is pale golden and starting to look crispy, about 8 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard greens, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with sea salt.
5. Open the oven door quickly, pull out the rack, and crack the eggs over the center of the pizza. Bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still slightly soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Spread the mustard greens evenly over the pizza. Drizzle with more olive oil, if desired, and sprinkle with smoked sea salt and pepper. Serve warm.