Friday Night Pizza: Pesto Potato
What wonders lurk in the depths of your freezer when you clean it out, right?
I was *sure* I had used up the last of the pesto I’d frozen from last summer. We had a share in CSA back in the Boston area last year, and when it got to be August/September, they were practically begging their shareholders to pick as much basil as could possibly, fathomably be used. No need to twist my arm! We came home week after week with mounds of the sweet, fragrant leaves. I made batch…after batch…after batch…of pesto, freezing it all in individual portions to be used throughout the rest of the year. Well, even though I made more batches than I could count and stocked our freezer to the gills, we still somehow ran out mid-January.
Or so I thought…
Fed up with the avalanche of frozen missiles raining down on me when I opened our freezer door, last week I finally got around to cleaning things out in there a bit…and lo and behold, what do I come across but a single buried bag of beautiful pesto! Jackpot!!
The idea for this pizza came from a reader of this blog, Carolina (thanks!), who suggested pesto potato pizza as a good kind to try when I began these Friday Night Pizza posts. I’ve heard of pesto and thinly sliced potatoes on pizza before, but I had never tried it. To all those doubters who may think starch-on-starch isn’t a smart move for your pizza, I ask you to reconsider: this pizza was delicious! I slathered the dough with my (last portion of) pesto (sniff, sniff), thinly sliced some red potatoes, blasted those in a hot oven for about 10 minutes to roast them, then piled them on top of the pizza and topped it with some grated parmigiano-reggiano and fresh mozzarella.
Happily, we’ve joined a CSA here in Ithaca for this season, and I can’t wait. Among many of the other good things I’m anticipating, I did happen to see that they have unlimited pick-your-own basil!
Pesto Potato Pizza
This is great with basil pesto, but you could also make it with parsley pesto — that would be delicious.
1 ball pizza dough (about 1 lb)
2 medium or 1 large red potato, thinly sliced (to about 1/8-inch thickness)
about 1/2 cup pesto
grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
fresh mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium bowl, place the thinly sliced potatoes. Drizzle them with some olive oil, and toss in a good pinch or two of coarse salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, flipping the slices halfway between. You want the potatoes to be just barely tender (not mushy); they’ll cook more when you put them on the pizza.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and crank the heat up to 500 degrees (preferably with a baking stone inside.) Stretch out your ball of pizza dough and lay it out on a pizza peel or baking sheet that’s been generously dusted with cornmeal.
Use a spoon to spread the pesto out all over the pizza dough. Top with the slices of potato, arranging them in a single layer. Sprinkle the pizza with a little grated parmigiano-reggiano, then top it with torn pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.