BLT Pizza With Creamy Avocado Dressing

Makes 2 (12-inch) pizzas. Serves 8.

Note: If you prefer to use pre-made dough from the store, feel free to substitute. Fontina is an Italian semisoft cow’s cheese with a mild, buttery, nutty flavor. Mozzarella can be substituted. From Meredith Deeds.

Crust (see Note):

• 3 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

• 1 pkg. (2 1/4 tsp.) dry instant yeast

• 2 tsp. sugar

• 1 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 1/2 c. water, lukewarm (not over 115 degrees)

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• Cornmeal for dusting

Topping:

• 12 slices bacon, chopped

• 2 medium tomatoes, chopped

• 2 c. shredded Fontina or mozzarella cheese

• 1/2 c. Creamy Avocado Basil Dressing (recipe follows)

• 2 c. chopped romaine lettuce

Directions

To make the crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry mixture.

Pour lukewarm water and olive oil into the well. Stir the mixture until the dough comes together. Knead for 4 to 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Dough may be sticky and you may need to sprinkle a little more flour on it as you knead, but don’t add too much. The dough should be soft.

Form dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap. Let rise for an hour at room temperature or refrigerate overnight and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping. (Alternately, combine all the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until the dough comes together in a ball. It’s not necessary to knead with your hands. Let rise in the closed food processor bowl for 1 hour.)

About 30 minutes before making the pizza, preheat the oven, with a pizza stone, tiles or a large baking sheet turned upside down on the lowest rack, to 450 degrees.

To make the pizza: In a 12-inch skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it just begins to brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the partially cooked bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Place the chopped tomatoes on another paper-towel-lined plate to drain off any excess liquid.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Keep 1 piece covered. Working with 1 piece at a time, on a floured work surface, roll out to a 12-inch circle. Place on a pizza peel or a large rimless baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Give the peel a gentle shake to make sure the dough isn’t sticking. Sprinkle half of the Fontina or Mozzarella cheese onto the crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with half of the bacon.

Carefully slide the pizza off the peel or baking sheet onto the hot pizza stone, tiles or baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until the crust is browned and cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes (so the lettuce doesn’t immediately wilt). Drizzle a 1/4 cup of the avocado dressing over the pizza. Top with half of the lettuce and chopped tomatoes and cut into 8 pieces. Repeat with remaining dough and toppings.

Nutrition information per serving with dressing:

Calories 440 Fat 20 g Sodium 945 mg

Carbohydrates 47 g Saturated fat 8 g Total sugars 3 g

Protein 18 g Cholesterol 50 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 3 starch, 1 high-fat protein, 2 fat.

 

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Note: This dressing is purposefully simple, letting the avocado and mayonnaise shine, but you could add a few tablespoons chopped herbs, such as basil or cilantro, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic, if preferred. Use any leftover dressing on salads, tacos or as a dip for cutup veggies. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1 medium avocado, peeled and pitted

• 1/2 c. mayonnaise

• 1/4 c. milk

• 1/4 c. sour cream

• 1 tbsp. white vinegar

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:

Calories 90 Fat 9 g Sodium 160 mg

Carbohydrates 2 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 1 g

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 5 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 fat.