Smoked Salmon Pizza on Herbed Flatbread Crust

You may have noticed that blanched almond flour has changed my life. You can put that stuff in a food processor with a little butter and a little liquid, maybe an egg, spices or herbs or honey or whatever you like, and you have a pie crust or a pizza crust or a pot pie topping or whatever floats your boat in no time.

How did I not know about almond flour before??

There was a time when Chris and I would order pizza like once a week, and spend all day having a Lost marathon. Those days are over, for a lot of reasons, one of which is that we killed Lost (sigh). But, we still end up having some variation of “pizza” almost every week. Now our pizza is usually grain-free and homemade, but it still seems like a treat every time. Plus, we have complete control over the ingredients and can come up with all kinds of new variations. Usually we use some kind of pesto or traditional red sauce, veggies, and meat, but this week I had some smoked salmon that we needed to use (long story involving a recipe that I thought sounded good but Chris vetoed…) so we got creative with our pizza night. The result was an herby cream cheese and lox inspired dinner!

Start by combining all crust ingredients in a food processor.p1000575

This is what the processed dough will look like.p1000576

Shape into a ball and sandwich between two sheets of parchment paper.p1000577

Shape into a flat roundish disc that will fit on a cookie sheet or pizza stone.p1000578

While that’s baking a bit prepare your toppings.p1000579

This is what the crust will look like coming out of the oven the first time.p1000580

Top with cheese mixture, salmon, capers, and chives, and place parchment paper directly on wire rack in oven.p1000581

It’s done when the edges of the crust are browning.p1000582

Gently slice and serve.p1000586

Crust Ingredients (Serves 4) *

  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Topping Ingredients

  • 6-8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (any white cheese that melts well will do; I used a combination of raw white cheddar and swiss)
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 1/2 cup plain strained yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, choppped

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine all crust ingredients win a food processor fitted with the dough blade and process until a dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Top with another piece of parchment paper. Using your hands and a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is very thin–no thicker than 1/4 inch. Gently peel off the top sheet of parchment paper and place on pizza stone or cookie sheet.
  • Bake crust for 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your toppings. Mix yogurt, cheese, garlic, and dill together.
  • When crust is done, remove and turn up over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Drop yogurt mixture on crust in little dollops. Spread very gently. The crust is very fragile and if you try to plop the whole mixture in the middle and spread it over the whole crust you will destroy it. Trust me, it happened to me.
  • Add smoked salmon, capers, and chives.
  • Slide the crust back into the oven on only the sheet of parchment paper. That is, the parchment paper should be sitting directly on the oven rack with the pizza on top.
  • Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until edges of crust are beginning to brown. Slice and serve!

*Note: I think this crust is really nice–it is flaky and flavorful, but it is not really sturdy enough to pick up and eat like traditional pizza. Treat it gently and plan on eating with a fork, and don’t fret if it crumbles a little here and there–it will still taste good!

Leek and Bacon Breakfast Pie

This is another adaptation of one of Against All Grain’s absolutely amazing inventions. I’ve made this a few times and each time made a couple of tiny revisions, not because the original isn’t fabulous, but just to work better with the equipment and ingredients I usually have on hand. I think we’ve finally nailed it. This is a savory, rich treat that I would be proud to serve to at any brunch, or that we will happily gobble up as breakfast for dinner after a rough day. Feel free to play with this recipe–use sausage instead of bacon, add more veggies to the topping, or change up the herbs in the crust.

One thing to note is that this dish is rich in fat and calories. Usually this is not too much of a concern for IBD patients, who tend to be underweight anyway. While I am not underweight, personally, I have lost a lot of weight since being diagnosed with Crohn’s. Some of this might be the effect of the disease, but I also think that my body is better able to appropriately digest and utilize fats and proteins than complex carbohydrates. My husband and I both lost quite a bit of weight while on the Paleo diet, which is also a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet not so different from SCD. I think there is more and more evidence supporting the idea that complex carbs, too much sugar, and highly processed foods are behind weight problems, and that dietary fat (especially from good plant-based sources) is not what makes us fat. More on this later.

In the meantime, make this breakfast pie immediately. Chris kept talking about Heaven the whole time he was eating this, and I take that as a pretty good sign.

Mix up your filling first.P1000518

Then prepare your crust. Throw all crust ingredients into the food processor.P1000520

This is what it will look like when the dough is ready.

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Press it into a cake pan. Pop it into the oven.P1000522

Now get o work on your toppings. Saute bacon until about halfway cooked and then add shredded leeks. Your house will now smell like heaven. Try not to eat all the bacon and leeks now. You will need them for your pie!P1000523

Your crust should be ready for fillings now. Layer in the cheese and then the bacon and leeks. Pop it in the oven again until the cheese is all melty and delicious.P1000524P1000525

Crack eggs on top. Pop in the oven one last time.P1000526

Devour!P1000527

Leek and Bacon Breakfast Pie Ingredients (serves 4-5 as main dish; more as side)

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons cold goat or cow milk butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cold water or bone broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg

Filling Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain strained yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cheese (I used a mixture of fontina and swiss because that’s what I had on hand), shredded
  • 1 leek, cleaned, trimmed of dark green leaves, and shredded
  • 7 slices bacon, diced (to be completely SCD legal, make sure it doesn’t have any sugar or other ingredients in it!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 6 eggs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add all crust ingredients to food processor with dough blade and process until a ball forms. Press into a 9-inch cake pan (the dough might not reach all the way up the sides, and this is ok).
  • Place the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Mix yogurt, shredded cheese, salt and pepper, and nutmeg together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Brown bacon in a pan until halfway cooked; add leeks and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until bacon is cooked but not yet crispy and leeks are softened.
  • Remove crust from oven. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the cheese mixture first, then layer the bacon and leeks on top. Return the pie to the oven for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and crack eggs on top. Bake for 15 more minutes, or until the egg yolks are cooked to your liking, and let set for 5 minutes before serving. We like to eat this with a few slivers of fresh avocado. It would also be lovely with fruit and a simple green salad with vinaigrette or roasted tomatoes.