Weekday Family Meal Freakout: Pizza Meets the BLT

Necessity is the mother of freakishly satisfying junk(ish) food. It was one of those harried afternoon phone calls. And it was a catalytic moment. I’m at work. My wife’s at home. We’re figuring out the family dinner. Pizza? We had the dough. We had the cheese. That and a salad. Somehow, it sounded boring. I said: “We have bacon.” She said: “We have cherry tomatoes.” I said: “We have cavolo nero.” She said: “Kind of like a BLT.” I said: “Yes.”

Smash cut to: a 425 degree oven. A bubbling gooey mess of a pizza, dough browning, yellow and red cherry tomatoes bursting from the heat, little pieces of Niman Ranch dry cured bacon curling at the edges. In a sautee pan: cavolo nero shiny from a quick sautee in olive oil and garlic and chili flake. We (the adults that is) wash it all down with cheap pinot noir. The kids wash it down with water. For some bizarre reason my boy eats around the bacon, confirming his trend-busting palate. My girl eats it all and then some. My wife and I eat some and then some and then some. It really was a pizza-like lens on wonder of the BLT: salty, smoky, sweet, fresh, plus cheesy.

Not health food by any means, but healthy to our souls. And enough to keep us inspired to cook another family meal on another day.

–Hugh

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6 Responses to Weekday Family Meal Freakout: Pizza Meets the BLT

  1. Paige says:

    First of all, I love that you and A, together, figure out the family dinner. Let’s just say that that kind of culinary teamwork is a small part of our family life ;-). And the BLT pizza sounds inspired–reminds me of a bacon and egg pizza I had in SF at a place called (I think) the Rose Cafe. It was beyond delectable, and something that might just pass muster with the short people. Where do you get your pizza dough? Homemade, or premade? If the former, would you post the recipe?

  2. Hugh Garvey says:

    We get our pizza dough at trader joe’s. Either the plain white pizza dough (not whole wheat! not flavored! these are not as universally compatible with any toppings you might be using. their pronounced flavors can clash and compete) or the cornmeal dough in the refrigerated section near the cheese (we use the pregrated quattro formaggio and the pregrated mozz. if you use the fresh mozzarella, be sure to slice it thinly and squeeze out the water to keep the pizza from getting mushy). Aimee sometimes makes the Alice Waters pizza dough recipe from her kid’s cookboook Fanny at Chez Panisse. She lets the kids punch it down during rising.

  3. Ann says:

    I think it is wonderful you decide your menus together!
    Question how to help my daughter eat more then kid food? My five year old daughter used to try every thing and like most of it – lobster in Maine, fresh veggies,cheese that was not cheddar or parmesan. Until she started pre-k…slowly she began to reject things until her faves are: Hot dogs, (organic or hebrew national), pizza, deli meat, PB and J sandwiches, brocolli and califlower but no other veggies with out a performance worthy of an Oscar. Curry, even mild curry is rejected as too spicy, ditto midly spicy sauces or food with herbs she can see although she will eat herbs and veg after we harvest them from the garden together… sometimes.
    How have you helped your children to expand their food world?

  4. laura says:

    We have a cool system call “New Food Points.” Every time one of my kids takes a substantial bite of a new food, we record a point on their chart. After 20 points, they can have whatever they want for dinner one night…even if it is ice cream and cookies (which, interestingly enough, they haven’t yet chosen in favor of mac n’ cheese and bread-carbo lovers that they are.) While they might not be the most culinarily adventurous folks around, at least they are willing to try.

  5. hugh Garvey says:

    Our strategy for getting our kids to expand their palates is: exposure. Offer it. They might reject it 10 times, then one day, without warning, embrace it completely. I know some people are very draconian and inflexible: offering new food and letting the kid go hungry if they don’t want it. That’s a bit too tough love for us, so a lot of food goes to waste, but a lot gets eaten that surprises us. Sounds like your daughter is eating some good stuff: brocolli! That’s better than a lot of kids. Exposure, keep trying, feed them what you’re eating. Oh, and also: use a bit of salt. It makes everything taste better. You’d be surprised. Just don’t overdo it.

  6. matthew says:

    garlic is also a great taste booster for toddlers…as long as they can handle it. Our little boy can identify the smell of it from blocks away at this point.

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