Make Pizzas with Breakfast Ingredients the Star of Your Brunch Menu
They’re shareable crowd-pleasers with toppings for every palate. So, why not?
Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee Photography
Brunch and pizza, separately the two quite easily dominate the restaurant industry. Brunch has consistently proven to be quite the motivator for weekend dining, and pizza remains a nostalgic bite with unwavering staying power.
Given the popularity of both brunch and pizza, many restaurants have craftily combined the two by introducing savory breakfast pies to their menus. Similar to standard pizza offerings, which come loaded with meats, cheeses and other toppings, breakfast pizzas typically are topped with cured meats like pancetta and prosciutto. Additionally, the ingredient that makes breakfast pizza unique is eggs. The type of eggs served on breakfast pizza run the gamut, from scrambled to sunny side up.
For Luca Varuni, executive chef/owner of Atlanta-based Varuni Napoli, the inclusion of breakfast pizzas on the menu has welcomed a new set of customers.
“It’s simple: People love brunch and people love pizza, so why not combine the two?” he says. “For me, as someone who is passionate about pizza, brunch pizza opened up a whole world of possibilities and reached a new audience for us.”
On weekends, Varuni Napoli doles out a trio of brunch pizzas, including the Colazione Americana, topped with fresh mozzarella, egg yolk, Italian sausage, cremini roasted mushroom, pancetta and EVOO infused with black truffle and pecorino Romano.
Varuni adds that though his brunch pizzas feature breakfast ingredients, they maintain authenticity with ingredients imported from Naples, Italy. That includes the use of DOP San Marzano tomatoes, fine sea salt, DOP extra virgin olive oil and 00 flour.
“Our pizzas are still made in the traditional Neapolitan style, and it gives each slice a delicious, unique taste unlike anywhere else,” he explains.
Some breakfast pizzas could prove tricky for operators, given the weary travel temperament of ingredients like fried egg and egg yolk. Jacques Larson, executive chef at The Obstinate Daughter in Sullivan's Island, S.C., offers a simple fix to this dilemma: Customers can simply crack an egg on their pizza once it's arrived at home.
On the topic of eggs, it’s also important to note that they’re brimming with healthy benefits. According to the American Egg Board, egg farmers have increasingly worked towards improving their environmental footprint. In addition to sustainability, eggs are a keto-friendly, protein-packed ingredient, making it a breakfast pizza topping with ample allure.
“Pizza provides a blank canvas for chefs to pack on the healthy ingredients, so depending on the toppings added and ingredients used, it can be better-for-you choice,” says Phaedra Ruffalo, senior director for market development at the American Egg Board.
“Eggs are a source of high-quality protein and paired with leafy green toppings, like spinach, can help with the absorption of vitamin E and carotenoids.”