Potato Pizza with Arugula-Garlic Scape Pesto
I’ve been making a lot of pizza lately. I got a pizza stone for my birthday so that’s been my excuse. Not that anyone should ever need an excuse to make pizza! And while pizza stones definitely make for a better pizza crust, it doesn’t mean you can’t make delicious pizza at home without one. So don’t shy away from this recipe if you don’t have a pizza stone.
The best part about homemade pizza is getting to play with your toppings. I’ve had potato on pizza before, but this is the first time I’ve ever made a potato-topped pizza at home. Usually I try to avoid carbohydrate-redundancy like this (potatoes AND bread all in one – yikes!). But this pizza is just so good that it is totally worth it. I had some lovely little scallions in my CSA box, so I threw those on as well.
My CSA box findings were also the inspiration for this pesto recipe. Last week I received garlic scapes and a big bunch of arugula. So into the food processor they went. This pesto isn’t for the faint of heart. The garlic scapes and the peppery arugula both pack a mighty punch. But it works perfectly as a spread here because the other flavors of the pizza are rather mild. This recipe makes more than you’ll need for the pizza. Use the leftover pesto in other dishes just as you would a more traditional basil pesto.
I also love experimenting with different cheeses on pizza. Don’t get my wrong – mozzarella still reigns supreme. But I’m definitely digging the ricotta and Pecorino Romano mix here. This pizza is also a lot less cheesy than your typical restaurant-style or take-out pizza, giving it a lighter and fresher taste.
Potato Pizza with Arugula-Garlic Scape Pesto
- For the Arugula-Garlic Scape Pesto
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 4 garlic scapes
- 2 cups arugula, packed
- 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
- 1/3-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- For the Potato Pizza
- 1 lb pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s, but you could certainly make your own)
- 1 medium-large Yukon Gold potato
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 scallions, white and light green portions (bottom half)
- 1/2 part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- Make the Arugula-Garlic Scape Pesto. In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the walnuts until they are just starting to become fragrant. This only takes a couple of minutes and they tend to burn quickly, so watch them closely. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Rough chop the garlic scapes. Use only the bottom stem portion of the garlic scapes (the part underneath the unopened flower bud). In the bowl of a food processor, add the chopped garlic scapes and the toasted walnuts. Blend until finely chopped. Add the arugula, salt and pepper. Blend until finely chopped. With the food processor running, gradually add in your olive oil and blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. Start with 1/3 of a cup of olive oil and add more if necessary to get the consistency that you want. Add the Pecorino Romano and pulse briefly to combine. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of pesto. See my Mixed Herb and Nut Pesto post for tips for long term storage of pesto.
- Make the Potato Pizza. If you are using store bought dough (or if your homemade dough has been chilling), remove it from the refrigerator and place on your counter top to allow it to come to room temperature. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
- While the oven is pre-heating, thinly slice the Yukon Gold potato. Toss potato slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet so they are in a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place in your pre-heated oven and roast for 20 minutes, until mostly cooked and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside. If you are using a pizza stone, warm your pizza stone in the oven for at least 20 minutes (just do this while you are roasting the potatoes). If you don’t have a pizza stone, a large baking sheet dusted with cornmeal will work great (no need to pre-heat it). Cut the scallions in pieces that are about the size of a matchstick, then cut those in half lengthwise.
- On a well floured surface, roll out your pizza dough until it is roughly a 12-inch circle (or whatever shape you can get it – I like it rustic looking!). Carefully transfer the dough to your warmed pizza stone or your baking sheet. Brush the pizza dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread about half of the Arugula-Garlic Scape Pesto on the dough (save the rest for another use), leaving about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch border at the edge. Lay the roasted sliced potatoes in a single layer on top of the pesto. Scatter the scallions over top of the potatoes. Drop small spoonfuls of the ricotta all over the top of the pizza. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano and ground pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Place the pizza in your pre-heated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the crust is starting to brown. Using a large spatula, transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut into slices or squares. Serve immediately (although the leftovers were great too!).
1. If you can’t find garlic scapes, you can substitute garlic cloves. I would start with 1-2 raw garlic cloves, adding more to suit your taste preferences. Also, any pesto sauce would be great on this. Feel free to use traditional basil pesto, or whatever you have on hand. My Mixed Herb and Nut Pesto would also be amazing on this pizza.
2. If you don’t have Pecorino Romano cheese, grated Parmesan cheese would work well in both the pesto and as a topping for the pizza.