Potato and Leek Pizza with Rosemary and Creme Fraiche
What? Potatoes and pizza? I am in. I have had a few potato pizzas here and there, the most memorable one at the exquisite Crazyweed in Canmore a while back. At Crazyweed they call theirs Bella Pizza and it has pesto, rosemary-crusted potatoes, mushrooms, charred onion and parmesan. It’s not the most common combination for pizza topping but a delicious and satisfying one just the same. If you are a foodie you look for new flavours and textures and I can tell you that Crazyweed is the perfect place for that. Incredible food at this special restaurant in the beautiful mountain town of Canmore. Go hiking in the Rockies and end the day with dinner at Crazyweed. You won’t regret it.
Needless to say I have been making potato pizza ever since and have developed a few variations by now. The other day I made potatoes and leek filling for enchiladas (and burritos) and thought the combination would be lovely on top of a pizza as well. I mentioned that I make pizza dough and keep it in the fridge for a few days so I can make an impromptu pizza whenever I want. This is one of these occasions. I still had a couple of balls of dough left from the weekend as well as potatoes and leeks in the fridge (new potatoes) so I thought a quick pizza was in order. Okay, two pizzas. I have to come clean. The other one with nectarines and Brie, to be posted later.
Since I had the cooked potatoes already in the fridge (I steam them) as well as clean leaks, all I had to do was give them a quick sauté with olive oil and rosemary and top them with grated cheese. I had pecorino and parmesan and both went into the cheese mix. Why not? It was a lovely, satisfying pizza. Here is the recipe.
Note: pizza must be baked in a very hot oven or under a very hot broiler. Use your oven’s highest setting, at least 450℉, and allow the oven to heat up for at least 30 minutes before you slide the pizza into it. If you use a pizza stone, place it in the oven as the oven heats up. I have never mastered the wrist motion necessary to slide the pizza with the topping onto the pizza stone so what I do is this : I place the dough on a parchment paper, place the filling and all on the pizza and then use a pizza peel under the parchment to slide it onto the pizza stone. Get it? then a few minutes later I open the oven quickly and pull out the parchment from under the dough and let it finish cooking directly on the stone. It works for me. If you have your own system go ahead and do it your way.
1 recipe pizza dough recipe (see below) or 1 pizza dough from a reliable Italian deli
2 tablespoon olive oil
1small leek, white and light green part only, sliced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium size cooked potatoes, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup creme fraiche, optional
1/2 cup grated cheese (pecorino, parmesan or a mixture of both)
Olive oil for brushing the dough and drizzling over topping.
A handful micro-green, shredded radicchio or baby arugula to top the pizza
Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
Add sliced leeks and cook until soft and translucent.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add potato slices and rosemary and cook until they potatoes begin to turn golden.
Add salt and a twist or two of pepper.
When nice and golden remove from heat and set aside.
Assembling and baking:
Prepare the pizza dough according to the instructions below. When it is ready roll it into one larger or two smaller pizzas.
Set pizza on a piece of parchment slightly larger than the dough.
Brush pizza with olive oil going all the way around the edges.
Sprinkle some of the grated cheese over the dough.
Spoon the topping on each pizza leaving the edges clear.
Sprinkle cheese over the filling and scatter a few more rosemary leaves around the topping. You may have some extra topping left.
Drizzle creme fraiche over.
Slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone in the 450℉ oven, close the door and let it cook for a few minutes. You can then pull out the parchment from under the dough and continue cooking the pizza directly on the stone.
When nice and golden and puffy in spots remove from oven onto a cooling rack and let set for a few minutes before cutting into wedges and serving with a glass of vino.
Quick Pizza Dough
3/4 cup warm water
1 pkg dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups flour more or less
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water and let rise
When bubbly, pour into food processor and pulse once or twice.
Add one cup flour and as well as the salt and mix.
Add enough of the remainder of the flour and run the machine until a dough forms and it cleans the sides of the bowl. Continue to run the processor it until the dough looks smooth and elastic.
Remove dough to a floured surface and knead by hand a few minutes adding a little flour if it is too sticky but leave it as sticky as you can manage.
Rub olive oil inside of a bowl large enough to contain the dough and let it double in size.
Place the dough in the bowl and turn it so all the dough is covered with oil.
Cover with a moist kitchen towel and let rise until double in size. Press the dough with 2 fingers, if the indentations remain then it’s ready.
Deflate the dough by punching it down on the counter.
Stretch or roll into pizza shape.
Lay on a foil lined baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or if you use a pizza stone follow the directions above (place pizza on parchment paper).
Brush oil over the pizza dough.
Place filling on top.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake until dough is golden and puffy in spots and the cheese is melted.
Remove to a cooling rack and let settle for a couple of minutes.
Garnish with micro greens arugula and serve.