There is something modestly satisfying about potatoes. When roasted with sea salt, pepper and oil they unleash a powerful recapitulation of starch that can surpass the savory, fat and crunch one gets from a hearty heap of salted fries.
In New York, I’ve grown accustomed to the frequency of seeing potatoes on pizza. Initially, I had deemed the ingredient superfluous to place upon on what is already a hearty baked round of dough. Akin, to the atrocities that by-the-slice parlors commit, I initially felt that potatoes on a pizza was just as unnecessary as a mac and cheese pizza or one that had chicken fingers on it.
Challenging my instincts, I sampled Zabar’s offering of a potato onion pizza they often sell from the Sullivan Street Bakery downtown. It was a simple crust with no cheese, lots of olive oil, layers of thinly sliced potatoes and onions. There was also a sprinkling of rosemary. The whole affair, I realized, was deliciously starchy.
Inspired, I sought out to experiment myself at home. In spirit of simplicity and the fact that I do not own a pizza stone nor did I possess the patience to create dough from scratch, I used pocketless whole wheat pita bread as my crust. You can use naan or any other variation. Of course, you can even make a crust yourself. The great thing about using the whole wheat pita is that its size is perfectly measured for individual consumption. This makes for a great appetizer or a hearty snack.
On the potato front, I used three different kinds of potatoes. Sweet, Yukon gold and red. The variety allowed for an enticing assortment of flavor and color. Shallots, blue cheese and chopped parsley worked together with the potatoes rendering a super delicious, grown up pizza.
Heres what you’ll need. The ingredients in this recipe will make 4 individual pizzas:
4 pieces of pocketless whole wheat pita bread
2 small to medium sized sweet potatoes
2 small to medium sided Yukon gold potatoes
2 small to medium sided red potatoes
2 small to medium sized shallots coarsely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp of sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
7 – 8 oz. of Blue Cheese
1/2 cup of freshly chopped parsley
1. Switch your oven on to 375 degrees
2. Wash potatoes thoroughly and peel
3. Cut potatoes into thin rounds, less than 1 inch thick
4. Season potatoes with salt, pepper and olive oil
5. On a cookie sheet or two, lay your potato rounds flat, to ensure consistent cooking avoid layering potatoes on top of each other
6. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn potato rounds over and bake for additional 10 minutes
7. In a pan, heat olive oil and brown shallots till they are translucent and soft
8. Once the potatoes are cooked, take out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes
9. Switch your oven to broil and lightly grease a round oven pan. You can use a skillet or a rounded pyrex dish too if you have one
10. Place pita on round oven pan and brush some olive oil on top of its surface
11. Take a few cooked shallots and disperse on the pita’s surface
12. Layer your pita with a good heaping of cooked potato rounds
13. Crumble a little blue cheese and cook under the broiler for 2 minutes
14. Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley right before serving