It’s almost Friday. Which means it’s almost pizza night. Hooray!
Question: does anyone actually know why pizza night and Friday night are synonymous with each other? Is it simply because pizza is really awesome and Friday’s are really awesome, so we’ve put the two together? Or is there a more official explanation that I am unaware of? If you know the answer, please tell me.
This Potato Pizza with Kale Pesto was inspired by Kate from Cookie and Kate. When I spotted her recipe for Kale Pesto Pizza this past winter, I knew immediately I wanted to recreate it in my kitchen. I’m a huge fan of putting pesto on just about everything, including my pizza. And while I’ll never get tired of the classic combination of red tomato sauce and cheese, I do have a soft spot in my heart for pizza recipes that use non-traditional sauces for the base. It’s such an easy and fun way to change things up every once in a while.
This pizza may be a bit on the green side, but don’t worry because there is still PLENTY of cheese. And an extra dose of carbohydrates from the thinly sliced potatoes. It’s pizza night perfection!
To make sure the potatoes are fully cooked, I pre-cook them for a couple minutes in the microwave before adding them to the pizza. Definitely don’t skip this step. Because raw potatoes are no bueno!
Potato Pizza with Kale Pesto
- For the Pesto
- 3 cups packed kale leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- Scant 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- For the Pizza
- 1 lb pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
- 4 medium yellow potatoes
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cups shredded fontina cheese
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Make the kale pesto. In your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse together the kale, garlic, pine nuts, salt and black pepper until coarsely combined. Then with the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube, stopping to scrap down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Process until the pesto is almost smooth. Set aside.
- Make the pizza. If your pizza dough has been in the refrigerator, remove it and place it on your counter top to rest for about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. If you're using a pizza stone, warm it in your oven as the oven pre-heats. If you're using a large baking sheet, dust it lightly with cornmeal and set it aside (no need to pre-heat it).
- Prick the potatoes several times with a fork. Wash them and place them in a shallow bowl. Don’t dry them off. Cover the bowl loosely with a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and set them aside to cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, slice them thinly.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it's roughly a 12-inch circle. If the dough is elastic and hard to work with, let it rest for a few more minutes. Carefully transfer the dough to your warmed pizza stone or baking sheet. Spread the kale pesto evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Depending on your taste preferences, you may not use up all of the pesto (I had approximately 2-3 tablespoons leftover). You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for several days.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the surface of the pesto. Then arrange the potato slices in a single layer over the mozzarella cheese. Top with the fontina cheese and the red pepper flakes.
- Transfer the pizza to your pre-heated oven and bake for 15-17 minutes. The crust should be starting to brown and the cheese should be fully melted. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes. Then using a large spatula, transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut it into 8 slices. Serve immediately.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.