Kimchi and Gruyère Pizza Recipe

Well the “big game” is over, but there is more to celebrate in addition to the Winter Olympics starting—National Pizza Day is today! With this “holiday” every Feb. 9, it is the perfect time to try your hand at making some out-of-the-box pizza at home. Then you can settle in to watch other people fly through the air with the greatest of ease on skis, skates or a luge.

Since kimchi has become very popular, it was bound to start showing up in non-Korean dishes, says Twin Cities chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, who created this recipe for Real Food. The tangy, salty pickled cabbage is a perfect foil for nutty Gruyère cheese on this exciting pizza, she says. Eggs add a dose of protein and could help this pizza serve double-duty at a brunch. The homemade crust is easy, but if you are pinched for time, a pre-baked crust will do.

And here is a bit of trivia to chew on while enjoying your “melting pot” pizza. An Italian chef named Raffaele Esposito is considered to be the father of modern pizza. Legend has it that when Queen Margherita visited Naples, Italy, in 1889, Chef Esposito served her pizza that featured tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil, which represented the three colors of the Italian flag. And thus, the Margherita pizza was born.

Kimchi and Gruyère Pizzas

Makes 8 servings (2 pizzas)

2 cups unbleached flour
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for pans

8 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
1½ cups packed kimchi, drained and chopped
8 large eggs
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh basil, torn

1. For the crust: In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine flours, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan or the microwave, warm 1½ cups water to 110°F to 115°F and add sugar or honey and oil to water. Stir to dissolve. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients, kneading until dough comes away from bowl; it should be soft and pliable but not overly sticky. If sticking to your fingers, add flour—a couple tablespoons at a time—just to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes, place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and place near but not on stove. Let rise at least 1 hour. While dough rises, preheat oven to 450°F (for pre-baked crusts, preheat to 400°F).

2. To make pizza, lightly oil 2 rimless 14-inch-wide sheet pans. Divide dough in 2 pieces and form each into a disk. Place 1 disk per pan and press out to a circle that reaches edges. Sprinkle half of cheese over crusts and distribute kimchi over cheese, leaving 4 open spots for eggs. Crack an egg into each indentation and sprinkle remaining cheese over pizza, leaving yolks exposed. Place tomatoes between eggs.

3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, reversing pans halfway through for even cooking. When egg whites are cooked and yolks are at desired doneness, remove pizzas from oven, top with basil, and slice each into 4 pieces with an egg centered in each.

Nutrition info Kimchi & Gruyère Pizzas (Per Serving): Calories 442 (154 From Fat); Fat 17g (Sat. 7g); Chol 218mg; Sodium 630mg; Carb 49g; Fiber 5g; Protein 23g

Hungry for More?
If a hearty pizza layered with sausage and mushroom sounds like a delicious idea, check out another of Asbell’s recipes here.

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.