Is there anything better than a BLT with heirloom tomatoes, bacon, mayo, and crisp butterhead lettuce? When my mom made these classic summertime sandwiches, she always threw on a slice or two of American cheese for good measure and a touch of decadence. I kept this family tradition alive here on my pizza version, but swapped out the mayo for homemade garlic scape aioli, which adds just enough spiciness to the mix. This aioli recipe (based on Melissa Clark's) makes way more than you'll need for a pizza, but it's great to have in the fridge for sandwiches, roasted vegetables, and oven fries throughout the week.
BLT Pizza (with garlic scape aioli and American cheese)
Makes one 12-inch pizza
For the aioli (slightly adapted from this recipe by Melissa Clark):
- 2 garlic scapes, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the pizza:
- 5 to 7 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball Basic Pizza Dough (or pre-made dough)
- 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 5 slices American cheese
- Flaked sea salt, for finishing
- Heaping 1/2 cup loosely packed shredded lettuce
Place your pizza stone (if using) on an oven rack about 8 inches from the broiler. If you plan to cook your pizza on a baking sheet, place a rack in the middle of the oven (you do not need to preheat the baking sheet). Preheat the oven to 500°F and let it heat up for at least 30 minutes while you make the dough and/or prepare the toppings.
To prep the toppings: First, make the aioli. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic scapes, lemon juice, salt, eggs, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until smooth, and then, with the machine running, stream in the olive oil very slowly until the mixture thickens and emulsifies. Taste the aioli and season with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper as needed.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, add the bacon, and cook, stirring frequently, until it just begins to crisp at the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
To stretch/roll out the dough: Dust the ball of dough with flour and place it on a well-floured work surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently stretch or roll the dough into a 12-inch disk.
If you’re using a pizza stone: Dust a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet generously with flour or cornmeal. Place the dough disk on the prepared peel.
If you're using a baking sheet: Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the dough disk on the prepared baking sheet.
To top the pizza: Spoon about 1/4 cup of the aioli onto the dough and spread it evenly, leaving a 1/2-inch border of dough all around. (You want a thin even layer of aioli.) Arrange the tomato slices on top in one layer, then sprinkle on the bacon and lay the cheese slices on top, breaking them into pieces if needed to cover the pizza evenly.
To bake the pizza: If you're using a pizza stone, 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the pizza, increase the oven heat to broil. Slide the pizza from the peel (or inverted baking sheet) to the hot stone using quick shimmying movements. Broil the pizza for 5 to 7 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese just begins to brown. Using the peel or inverted baking sheet, transfer the cooked pizza to a cutting board. If you are making more than one pizza, allow the pizza stone to reheat under the broiler for 5 minutes before you cook the next one.
If you're using a baking sheet, do not increase the oven to broil. Place the baking sheet on the rack in the middle of the oven and bake at 500°F for about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese just begins to brown.
Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with a pinch of flaked sea salt and scatter on the shredded lettuce to finish. Slice and serve.