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The Most Eggsellent Pizza

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Remember when we made pizza right before I left for China? Yesterday, we reached new pizza heights, creating pizza that could rival any crispy thin-crust pizzeria pizza (try saying that five times fast. Go on. I’ll wait.). … How, you ask? With this little device here:

Yep, that would be a Big Green Egg, a ceramic charcoal grill that has a certain distinctive shape. You may have seen it in this post by Pet my subconscious a few weeks ago. Here it is again in case you missed it.

This grill can get up to super-high temperatures, allowing pizza crust to obtain that crispy pizzeria texture only obtained in massive bread ovens. Pretty awesome. We could, of course, not finish all this pizza ourselves, so we invited our friends Rebecca and Henry over for a sampling (hi, guys!). Peter started with a half whole-wheat flour, half white flour Peter Reinhart pizza dough:

Yes, I always photograph my pizza dough in glaring overhead light that would otherwise only be found in a prison line-up.

Caramelizing onions for our caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza.

Meanwhile, Peter starts up the grill.

Time to prepare the red pepper! I learned a trick for slicing red peppers on the day when I was slicing red peppers for what felt like hours.

Cut off the top of the pepper:

Use your fingers to pull out the insides (e.g. white ribs or any little baby peppers – wow, that sounds really cruel).

Slice ‘er up!

Meanwhile, here I am preparing dessert: grilled peaches with balsamic vinegar.  Since this is lunch “dessert”, I like to keep it on the lighter side.

Remove the skins by dropping the peaches in boiling water for ten seconds …

… then dropping them in ice water to stop the cooking process.

Once the peaches have cooled slightly, you can remove the skins easily with your fingers.

Not the most attractive picture, I know.

Let’s get those pizzas on the grill!

BBQ chicken and blue cheese pizza:

Sausage and veggie pizza:

Where’s that caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza I mentioned earlier?  I forgot to take a picture of the pizza, but check out a trio of slices on my plate.

Mmm.

I sprinkled a pinch of rosemary on the onion and goat cheese pizza because the ingredients taste wonderful together. As for the crust, well … I don’t have a craving for any pizzeria pizzas 🙂 My mind must have been somewhere else yesterday because I also forgot to take a picture of the grilled peaches drizzled with sweet balsamic. Whoops. They were tasty. If you don’t have an aged sweet balsamic lying around, you can simmer a bottle of cheap balsamic over very low heat until it thickens into a syrup. Try it.

On a final note, my BIL Dave asked me a Q about olive oil about a month ago and I got around to answering it a couple of days ago (a good SIL, I am not). I thought the question was great, so I include it here:

Hey Jessie, I’ve been reading a bit about the health benefits of olive oil and am wondering if I should try to make it a daily thing. I eat a ton of peanut butter, so am thinking of subbing the olive oil for it at appropriate times (on bread, some mashed veggies, like the acorn squash and banana mash I just ate). I always shied away from it due to a belief in its high caloric value (not that peanut butter isn’t the same) but actually measured just how much a tablespoon of it is compared to the amount I usually eat of it (olive oil) and was quite surprised. Any thoughts?

First of all, Dave, please don’t make me acorn squash and banana mash next time we’re over … KIDDING! You make great food 🙂

Olive oil is a great source of healthy fats because it’s very high in monounsaturated fats, which is the best kind of fat out there along with the omega-3 unsaturated fats. In terms of having it every day – nutritionally, there’s no food that anyone NEEDS to eat every day. In fact, it’s better if you have more variety in your diet. Olive oil and peanut butter are both great healthy fat sources, but they are not 1:1 interchangeable because they have different healthy fat profiles in them, not to mention other good-for-you compounds (some of which we don’t even know about yet!). If you like eating them both (and it seems like you do), then incorporating both into your diet is a great move. I understand the urge to shy away from olive oil due to its high calorie content, but I think your idea of measuring it out a few times to see how big a portion size is is fantastic. Back when we used to live in Cambridge, I went through a period of eating whole grain toast drizzled with a tablespoon of olive oil every morning for breakfast (with fruit). I always measured because it’s easy to overdo oils. There was nothing like a hit of healthy fats in the morning to fill me up for a loooong time 🙂 Now I tend to go for PB because it contains a lot of filling protein (which oils do not), and because I just plain like PB better. However, I think switching it up between the two, or even incorporating other healthy fats like avocado, is a great idea. Besides, you can always add a hard-boiled egg or similar for some extra protein if the rest of your meal is lacking.

Check out this link for a great summary on dietary fats from the MayoClinic.

Tinkerty tonk!

Q: How do you incorporate healthy fats into your diet? Share your tips! Bonus points if you can include an eggy pun in your answer 😀

25 Comments

  1. Oh those pizzas look divine.

    I really don’t rely on a certain fat on my diet. I use them all. I tend to get bored with food really easily, so my diet is pretty varied.

  2. Um I’m coming over to use your big green egg. Seriously. I’ll make the pizza dough for you. In exchange for intruding on your personal space. K?

    Love your pizza toppings!

    I get my healthy fats with tons of olive oil, nut butters, and avocado! All good stuff.

  3. Those pizza pics are making me drool 🙂 And I just ate breakfast 🙂 I love to put nice oils on my food after cooking – flax oil, olive oil…oh, and I often cook with coconut oil since it can withstand high temperatures. I love nuts and seeds and avocados as well, although I don’t eat avocados very often. Does the egg cooker produce a lot of smoke? It looks so neat, I want to get one 🙂 But I’ve never seen one before. Have a spectacular weekend 🙂 !

  4. Wow those pizzas really look like they came from a good pizzeria!! And it’s so much better when you know what’s in them!! 🙂

    I live and die olive oil (being a Mediterranean gal). For us olive oil is an essential kitchen ingredient. We cook things in it, we drizzle it over salads and other foods, we preserve stuff in it and in general we eat it on one way or another every single day. And it’s great! 😉

    But I have noticed that olive oils are different. Some of them are dark, some others lighter in colour and in taste. Not all of them can be eaten (and enjoyed) raw, only the lighter ones. But unfortunately I can’t find those lighter oils in London, so if you have had a bad experience with olive oil, it may be that you tried the wrong oil served the wrong way.

  5. One of our favorite pizzas to make is a buffalo chicken with blue cheese!!!!! So good!! We’ve never tried grilling… wonder if Andrew is up for the challenge?? They look awesome!! 🙂

    I love using olive oil, avocados, and flax to get in my healthy fats. And nut butter… when I’m not pregnant (still sounds so gross right now!!)!

  6. Hey Jessie! At first I thought the close up picture of your charcoal grill was a green golfball. Then I thought, ok what’s Jessie up to now cause what could a golf ball possibly have anything to do with pizza? Then I realised it was you grill. Teehee. I’ve never tried grilling pizza before, but it looks like I should cause those pizzas look super good! The crust reminds me of parathas. They look delicious and perfectly done. Pizza is definitely one of my favorite foods but Gary isn’t a huge fan so we don’t eat it much. He would be quite jealous of that grill/smoker too.

    That was a great question about olive oil and peanut butter. You answered it very well and actually went beyond answering the question. You know, I’m actually starting to wonder if durian would fall under the high fat fruits category. It would sure seem like it from it’s custardy texture. You should make a durian pizza. Although I don’t think Peter nor your neighbors would appreciate the smell. Lol. Hope you’re having an awesome weekend, dear.

  7. Wow, that pizza looks AWESOME! I’m very generous with EVOO on my salads, so I never have a problem getting healthy fats in. I also adore salmon, so it’s easy to get them in without even trying sometimes, lol.

    Jenn

  8. I need to make that pizza — it actually looks better than anything I’ve had when eating out! You want to hear something crazy about olive oil? My hubby’s grandmother used to drink a cup of it (ugh! I don’t know how she did that!) every night…and she lived to be over 100!

  9. I get my healthy fats through nuts and seeds and olive oil occasionally in my smoothies for a change of pace.

  10. Wow your pizza looks really rustic and professional. I’m currently thinking of my next column for my school paper (it’s supposed to involve science + food) so I’m thinking of talking about one of Peter’s more scientific experiments…. Do you have any in mind that you might have written about before I started reading your blog? I’d hate to miss great experiments.

    I derive healthy fats from coconut milk, nuts and seeds, and, of course avocados. Recently, I’ve been trying to up my intake of fats because I’ve heard that a lack of good healthy fats can actually lead to constipation–it makes sense when you think about it: the walls of your intestines need to be lubricated (with unsaturated fats) to facilitate the eggs-it of … um, poop. Yes, I win for most disgusting egg-y fun evahhh.

    xo Aletheia

    P.S. I’m sorry but banana and acorn squash mash sounds really adventurous in a good way. I like adventurous folks.

  11. thats got to be the most fantastic little egg looking BBQ ever! love how u just toss the pizza right ontop and PRESTO its done!! FABULOUS!

    olive oil is in so many recipes. i think canola oil was catching on but im not sure if its healthy. sometimes i think its cuz canola oil is overly produced so someone decided to slap on the health label and trick people a bit. olive oil will likely be the front runner for many years.

    btw i was supposed to get braces as a kid because i sucked my thumb and had a major overbite. the reason i got so many teeth pulled was because they were either cavity ridden or my body didnt want to get rid of its baby teeth to let the big guys pop through.

    hope ur week/monday is starting off good love!

    xoxo <3

  12. The pizza looks so good! I’m impressed- I’ve never made homemade pizza dough from scratch. That takes time commitment and effort haha. I love the sound of the peach dessert too. I love peaches and I’ve been eating them in abundance lately because my organic grocery store is full of all the delicious produce. Oh, and thanks for the pepper slicing tip…honestly, it takes me forever to cut my peppers. I like to cut them into tiny little pieces and it can take me hours (well, not hours….but you know what I mean).

    As for the olive oil question, I’m impressed that your BIL even cares about nutrition enough to ask, and actually knows about healthy fats and is concerned about calories? Mind boggling to me. All the men in my life are pretty clueless in that arena, but I guess I shouldn’t generalize! Thanks for sharing your letter to him.

    Happy Monday! xoxo

  13. That pizza look absolutely delicious! I am super impressed.
    I love all the yummy flavor combos!

    I definitely get my fair share of healthy fats, especially avocados and who could forget PB!

  14. Great work on the pizzas. Looks awesome, love the cooking method. I include my healthy fats with PB and olive oil, plus I eat fish often, although not really the classic fatty fish, more of the white flaky fish.

  15. Those pizzas look amazing!!! I’ve never tried to grill pizza before (though I would love to). What a cool grill. Where would one get something like this??

    Thanks for the info about olive oil. I try to cook with (a little) EVOO and use it on salads. I also eat a LOT of nut butter…probably too much actually. 😉 And I love eggs (though sadly do not have a good egg-y pun to use in this comment)

  16. I eat WAY too much nuts for my own good. I used to eat 3 lbs of nuts per day, so I’m much better than before…but haha, there is such a thing as too much good fats (a-hem, really bad disgestion).

    Your pizza looks FANTASTIC and I wanna devour one right now! I’ve heard of grilled pizzas before, but have never really tried it…I can’t imagine why, since I adore charred, grilled dough and well, anything slightly burnt. 🙂

  17. I wish I had a BBQ so I could try to make a grilled pizza! Unfortunately condo living isn’t exactly conducive to having one…

    I eat lots of flaxseed oil which I just drop into salads or on rice. I have totally developed a taste for it and it is so good for me and my skin.

  18. your pizza’s look incredible…I love the rustic crust, and blue cheese and chicken..wow….and then caramelized onion and goat cheese, I wouldn’t know which to eat, I would have to have both! Grilled peaches are my wifes favorite, but I never poach them just right on the grill…the sugars caramelize so nicely that way!

  19. *GASP* I LOOOOOOOOVE your big green egg, though I think I did see it previously on your blog, it didn’t jump out at me like it’s doing now!!

    The pizzas look scrumptious – a little charred around the edges, just the way I them. I can imagine how wonderful smoky they must have tasted 🙂

    I don’t eat a whole lot of fat in my diet – but I try to use EVOO in salads and dressings, I eat a lot of avocados, I have a little butter now and then, instead of margarine and I take fish oil capsules 😛 Not very tasty but well, brainfood and absolutely necessary at my age YIKES!! ROFL

  20. the pizza looks amazing, i’m so hungry now!

    Greeting from Canada, your norfolk needs to be plucked =p

    just teasing, nice blog, i liked the scallop post

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