When we entertain, which isn’t very often, Robbie and I like to do pizza, with all manner of toppings and themes, like Mexican perhaps. In the summer we use the grill, in the winter the oven—its very convivial to hang out at the bar in our kitchen, chatting and sipping and watching the pizzas go in the oven and come out, and tempting all of us with a new combo. Thank you Deborah Madison, who, in The Greens Cookbook, taught me all about pizza possibilities. Smoked cheese is my latest discovery—I love the extra lilt it gives to pizzas.
Pizza in America is not what people usually make at home—but a quick and easy order and delivery. Robbie even fell for a dinner invitation recently; when the host said we were having pizza, Robbie pictured homemade crust and creative toppings. Boy was he surprised when dinner came out of a box.
We went to Moab for a 3-day desert holiday on Monday and I was in charge of dinner that evening.
I packed our pizza stone and the mandoline and made sure to bring the green chile pesto and the package of Iraqi flatbread, a gift from our friend Peter, that I had been hoarding in the freezer. In Salt Lake City, pick up this yummy Persian flatbread at Pars Market on Highland Drive.
I used the mandoline to quickly slice the potatoes thinly, and I even impressed myself with how easily the pizzas came together.
This recipe is for one pizza, but you can make as many as you wish. Use my whole wheat pizza dough recipe or pick up some Iraqi flatbread—the cooking time will vary, depending on which you use, the dough and the cooking vehicle itself.
Pesto, Potato and Red Onion Pizza
1 10-inch pizza crust, raw and freshly shaped, or pre-baked
Several Warba, yellow or red potatoes (6 to 10 ounces total) well-scrubbed and very thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Green chile or regular pesto
¼ cup very thinly sliced red onion
About 4 ounces smoked cheddar or mozzarella cheese, grated
Over low flame, heat a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the sliced potatoes and the garlic and season with salt. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of water and cover the skillet. Cook another 5 minutes, just until the potatoes are tender. Take off the cover and let any remaining water cook away. Set aside.
Place the pizza stone in the oven or grill and preheat to 450 degrees or as hot as you can get the grill.
Put the pizza crust on a pizza peel or an upside-down pizza pan that you have sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. (The cornmeal acts as ball bearings so the pizza can slide onto the stone.)
Drizzle some olive oil on the crust and spread it around with a brush or your fingers. Spread about 3 tablespoons of pesto on next, followed by the red onion slices and some of the cheese. Now arrange the potatoes, so that all of the dough is covered except for ¾ of an inch around the edge. Season with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the potatoes.
Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake it for 6 to 10 minutes, until the edges and bottom are deep golden brown.
Makes 1 pizza