Friday, August 28, 2009

Potato Pizza with...

With help from the herbs in our backyard and our local farmers' market, we threw together this Potato Pizza with Fresh Rosemary, Thyme and Mozzarella for our Friday Pizza Night!

After I had whirled our much-loved whole-wheat pizza dough in the food processor and set it aside to let it puff up, I used that time to toss a half pound of baby Yukon Gold potatoes from the market into a saucepan and added just enough cool water to cover. A few pinches of salt for good measure, I let the potatoes simmer until they were just tender enough to glide a knife through with little resistance. Since you want these potatoes to hold together well, don't let them stay in the pot for too long - check for doneness earlier rather than later. So they cool down faster, drain the water away and leave the potatoes be in a separate bowl while the rest of the pizza is prepared.

I used our trick of pre-baking the dough once it was stretched out into a rough circle, ensuring we would end up with a crisp crust that would hold up to the toppings. Just remember to turn the partially-baked crust over, giving the uncooked side access to the heated stone, while the lightly browned bottom becomes the top canvas for your pizza portrait. The first layer was a smearing of a homemade pizza sauce that I made and froze a week ago - this was just a basic chunky sauce made from good olive oil, peeled and seeded garden tomatoes (I used what was ripe - a mix of roma and celebrity), a mess of minced garlic and crushed red pepper that I simmered for almost two hours, letting it thicken and concentrate down. Right as I took it off the heat, I stirred in a heaping scoop of fresh oregano for its fragrant punch.

After slicing the now-cooled potatoes into thin rounds, we gently tossed them with olive oil, fresh rosemary, thyme and of course, the obligatory salt and fresh ground black pepper. Arranged all over the top, we used enough potato that one would get a piece in each bite, but also left plenty of open space. Those spots wouldn't stay open for long though, because we filled any of those areas with thin slices from a ball of fresh mozzarella! If you find that you're having a hard time slicing this squishy cheese, wrap it up and stash it in the freezer for 15 minutes - this is just enough time to firm up the cheese slightly to make slicing easier.

Since the dough had already been given a head start, it didn't take long for the heat of the oven to finish crisping the crust, bringing the potatoes back to temperature and melting those slices of mozzarella into cheesy puddles. Rosemary is always standard pairing with potatoes, but how the tiny, delicate thyme leaves infiltrated this pizza with its aromatic energy hit the spot! Using a homemade sauce is certainly not required, but Jeff and I both agreed it helped send this pizza over the moon - this will definitely be making another appearance, especially if we make it on another day besides Friday to get two pizza nights!

8 comments:

  1. Hey Joe, we're in the Costco Magazine together. I haven't gotten my magazine yet, but I found out on Twitter that some people have received them. Kind of fun don't you think!

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  2. Joe, have you considered sage as a possible complement to the potatoes instead? I wonder if that might turn out as deliciously as this pizza sounds.

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  3. Quinn - *Bow*

    Kalyn - I heard! I haven't gotten a copy yet, but I can't wait to see it. Fun stuff indeed!

    Peter - It certainly sounds like it should work well!

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  4. This looks great, thanks!

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  5. I tried this recipe and just loved it..Thx for sharing!!!

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  6. I triedf this recipe and loved it..Thx for sharing!!!

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  7. Lucky - Enjoy!

    CT - Thanks for the feedback!

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