Sweet Potato, Pecan + Goat Cheese Pizza
September 14, 2009 § 1 Comment
This past week my extended family from Alaska, California and Phoenix flocked down to southeastern Arizona for a family-reunion-style bash. We ate, almost constantly, for 7 days straight.
Take yesterday, for example: My dad barbecued baby zucchini, strips of sweet potato, garlic cloves, beets, Yukon Gold potatoes with fresh rosemary, corn on the cob, eggplant slices and fresh summer squash from a local farm. We piled huge bowls of these roasted veggies along with slices of melon (and BBQed meat slabs) on the giant living room table and shouted expletives about Sarah Palin and the art of making perfect corn.
The day before, my Aunt Kathi and I were in the driver’s seat. At 11am we started chopping heirloom tomatoes, tearing arugula, slicing bell pepper, roasting garlic, stirring flour and butter into sauces, sauteing eggplant with garlic and spinach, chopping sun-dried tomatoes, roasting sweet potatoes, dicing calamata olives, crumbling fresh mozzarella, feta and goat cheese and whipping up five big batches of pizza dough in preparation for a 2pm pizza smack-down. We made six small pizzas (all pictured below), but our all time favorite was the Sweet Potato, Pecan and Goat Cheese pizza with caramelized onion and basil. If I weren’t still trying to digest from the past seven days, one of these pizzas would be in the oven as I type.
Ingredients for the Pizza:
1 batch pizza dough
few brush strokes olive oil
1 small sweet potato
1 head garlic, roasted
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pecans, crumbled
1/4 cup basil, torn (we used purple basil)
Methods for Pizza Making:
1. Prepare dough in advance.
2. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes into small slices and remove peels from garlic. Toss potatoes and garlic in olive oil. Roast approximately 10-15 minutes until crispy.
3. While potatoes/garlic bake, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large-brimmed skillet. Cut onion into slices. When oil is hot, add onions. Cook until they reduce and become browned and slightly crispy. Add balsamic vinegar and honey. Cook until liquid evaporates and onions become caramelized. Set aside.
4. Spread dough with hands or rolling pin on corn meal surface, preferably a top a pizza peel. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
5. Cover dough liberally with white sauce and a few dollops of pesto.
6. Add sweet potato slices and garlic, pecan crumbles and goat cheese. Spread onions on top. Scatter basil and any other favorite toppings. Brush olive oil around edges (optional).
7. Bake pizza 10-12 minutes minutes until edges are crisp.
Sweet potato + pecan pizza, half vegetarian, half with chicken sausage.
Ingredients for Garlicky White Sauce (inspired by Pam Anderson’s “Perfect Recipes”)
1 + 1/4 cup organic milk
3/4 cup water or vegetable broth (or pop in 1 bullion cube)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons organic butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
Methods for White Sauce: In a small pot, heat milk, water/broth and garlic until nearly simmering. Remove from heat. Melt butter in a second medium-sized skillet and whisk in flour when butter starts to sizzle. Add milk/broth mixture to butter and flour and whisk until smooth. Cook until thick and bubbly. Stir in cheese. Set aside.