Garden Pizza (take 2)

So, I made pizza again.  My aunt was coming into town for the night and I volunteered to cook for us all.  Our garden was the source of our dinner and pizza it was.  We have an abundance of fennel and fresh basil, but I wanted to begin experimenting with a new ingredient – the sweet potato green.  On a visit to Atlanta back in July, I visited the Piedmont Park farmers market (which I would highly recommend).  As I was staying up the street at the W hotel in Midtown, it was perfect to walk down the street to the park in the morning to exercise and to go to the market.  I just wished I could have bought more and had more time to enjoy the park (I would stay at the W midtown just for the location of the park and near by restaurants, all within easy walking distance – including Empire State South – but will make sure to stay on a high level of the hotel on the opposite side of the outdoor bar. If you stay there, trust me, and do the same).  While at the market, I was introduced to the sweet potato green.  Totally new to me, and totally exciting.  Apparently sweet potato greens are amazing and highly nutritious- higher than other greens.  They are full of vitamin K and vitamin A.  I was given some slips to plant earlier in the spring and had no idea what to expect.  The box is now a massive blanket of vining greens.  While the vines can be turned back into the soil for nutrients, you can also harvest the greens.   Curious to know what to expect, I picked a green to taste.  There is a subtle hint of the same flavor profile of the sweet potato.  As a green, it is tender and good.

For these pizzas, I made another fig (fig + blue cheese), as well as a sweet potato green + tomato.

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Fig + Blue Cheese Pizza:

I pretty much did the exact same thing as the last time I made it, just with a couple of changes to add a bit more of an impactful flavor and adjust the measurements.  However, I do admit that I wing it when I make pizza so these are rough measurements anyway.  Adjust as you feel is needed.

  • Thin crust pizza dough from Cooking Light
  • cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used closer to 1/3 cup, just enough to thinly coat the dough)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8-10 fresh figs, quartered
  • a little less than a 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 branch of fresh rosemary
  • good Modena balsamic vinegar
  • fresh ground pepper

Follow instructions for making pizza dough.  However, I do a couple of things differently.  I do preheat the baking sheet while the oven is preheating, but I never precook the dough.  With this recipe, I found that it makes it tough and chewy.  Just not good.  Also, I use olive oil to coat the bowl instead of cooking spray (which works too).  I do not use the cornmeal.  If you like the taste or have some on hand, feel free to use it.  I just never have.  Also, I never crimp the edges.  I just leave an edge around the pizza when adding the toppings.  I feel that is sufficient, especially when there is no sauce as in this recipe.

After the dough has chilled for an hour, remove from the fridge and roll out on floured surface.  Roll to fit the sheet being used, whether round or rectangular.  Remove baking sheet from the oven.  Drizzle olive oil to thinly coat sheet.  Transfer rolled out dough to hot baking sheet – just remember it is hot!  (I admit that I have burnt my hands in the past.)   Begin by drizzling olive oil on the dough.  Next, thinly spread the ricotta cheese.  Add onion, figs, blue cheese, and rosemary.

Back on middle rack for 8-10 minutes on 500, until the crust is baked.   Drizzle vinegar over the pizza and then grind fresh pepper.  And enjoy!

Sweet Potato Green + Tomato Pizza:

Addiah inspired 024

  • Thin crust pizza dough from Cooking Light
  • cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs basil pesto
  • one small bunch of sweet potato greens, sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 red tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • fresh ground pepper

Follow instructions for making pizza dough.  However, I do a couple of things differently.  I do preheat the baking sheet while the oven is preheating, but I never precook the dough.  With this recipe, I found that it makes it tough and chewy.  Just not good.  Also, I use olive oil to coat the bowl instead of cooking spray (which works too).  I do not use the cornmeal.  If you like the taste or have some on hand, feel free to use it.  I just never have.  Also, I never crimp the edges.  I just leave an edge around the pizza when adding the toppings.  I feel that is sufficient, especially when there is no sauce as in this recipe.

After the dough has chilled for an hour, remove from the fridge and roll out on floured surface.  Roll to fit the sheet being used, whether round or rectangular.  Remove baking sheet from the oven.  Drizzle olive oil to thinly coat sheet.  Transfer rolled out dough to hot baking sheet – just remember it is hot!  (I have burnt my hands in the past.)   Begin by spreading the pesto on the dough.  Add sweet potato greens, onion, sliced tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.

Back on middle rack for 8-10 minutes at 500, until the cheese is melted and the crust is baked.  Grind fresh pepper on top and enjoy!  I felt this pizza was lacking a little.  Next time, I would add garlic and fresh basil instead of using pesto.  The pesto gives a creamy, rich taste, but I prefer a lighter, fresh pizza personally.

And for dessert, I made Smitten Kitchen’s Almond Crisped Peaches to finish off the meal.

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