To represent the crunch from chips, we used the twelve-ounce version of our favorite whole-wheat pizza dough and stretched it out pretty thin into a large circle. You can use the pound version for a more substantial base, but we wanted to keep it snappy and crisp. What I love about this dough is the fact that it is like putty in your hands - smooth, soft, no rolling pin required to work with it and we've never had much of a problem with it tearing when we want an especially thin crust.
We did give the pizza base a quick zap on top of the baking stone to give the crust a head start - at this point you are not trying to cook it, but you want just the faintest golden color on the bottom. Once out of the oven, the base is flipped over so you will now be working on the side that had contact with the stone (aiding in keeping the crust crisp through and through). Instead of a tomato sauce, we slathered the crust with a dynamite pureed combination of black beans, roasted red peppers, garlic and two types of chili powder.
Layered over the sleek "sauce" are chopped pickled jalapeños, Monterey Jack cheese, chopped plum tomatoes, scallions and a few chopped olives for a striking contrast. Slid back onto the hot stone, the pizza is allowed to continue baking until the crust turns a rich golden and the shreds of cheese connect into a divine gooey pool.
While we have quite enjoyed the more simple pizzas we've had lately, the complexity of the bean sauce was a decidedly nice change of pace - I also liked how the chunky tomatoes added a fresh contrast to that darker sauce underneath. Since we groove on spiciness, the punch from the hot chili powder made this that much more exciting for us, but the pizza's success isn't dependent on that. We felt the creamy mildness the Jack cheese offered fit well with the theme, but I could see cheddar, mozzarella or for a racy bite, your favorite pepper Jack, would also mingle well. We didn't happen to have any in the refrigerator (next time!), but a dollop or two of sour cream on top would have been a decadent treat!
Black Bean Nacho Pizza