Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Potato Arugula Pizza

Pizza dough, either store-bought or homemade
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arugula leaves
3 ounces shredded Fontina cheese (about ¾ cup)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the potato into thin slices. Toss in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and lay out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Raise the oven temperature to 500 degrees. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic. Set aside. Wash, dry and coarsely chop the arugula. Toss the arugula with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and stretch the dough to fill it. (You can also use a pizza stone and roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle on a pizza peel) Line the dough in rings of potatoes, starting from the outside and working inward, leaving a ½ inch border around the edges. Brush the potatoes with the garlic oil. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown and the potatoes are golden brown.
Sprinkle the arugula evenly over the pizza. Sprinkle the cheese over the arugula and bake for another 3 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
Really Simple Pizza Dough
Makes enough for one small, thin crust pizza. Double it if you like your pizza thick and bready.
1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.
If you are finding this step difficult, one of the best tricks I picked up from my bread-making class is to simply pause. Leave the dough in a lightly-floured spot, put the empty bowl upside-down on top of it and come back in 2 to 5 minutes, at which point you will find the dough a lot more lovable. Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray perfectly does the trick) where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size. Dump it back on the floured counter (yup, I leave mine messy), and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes. Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its top temperature. Roll out the pizza, toss on whatever topping and seasonings you like. (I always err on the side of skimpy with toppings so to not weight down the dough too much, or if I have multiple toppings, to keep them very thinly sliced.) Bake it for about 10 minutes until it’s lightly blistered and impossible to resist.

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