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Asparagus Goat Cheese Potato Pizza
Asparagus, goat cheese and potato pizza? Really?
(See what I did there? Goat humor.) 😉
This is one of the best pizzas I have ever had, and my family concurs. I got this recipe from the archives of epicurious.com, where they have hidden away a treasure trove of their highest rated recipes. I am on a mission to try each one that appeals to me.
Admittedly, it’s a slow-moving, seasonal kind of mission. But when I feel a need to make a new kind of burger, or pizza, or dessert, I head to their archives, and look through their highest rated/blue ribbon recipes, searching for a recipe that will utilize ingredients that are seasonally fresh. And that is very often how I either find a new-to-me recipe to treasure, or a recipe that becomes the springboard for an idea, where I change up what they’ve offered, and combine it with an idea of my own.
This particular recipe is pretty close to the original, but I changed up the crust, and the potatoes, just a bit.
The Crust for the Asparagus Goat Cheese Potato Pizza:
My crust recipe for this pizza is a simple dough I learned from Joanne Weir, a chef who used to have a show I watched on PBS, back in 1999, called Weir Cooking in the Wine Country. I checked out her cookbook from the library, and hand copied her crust recipe. The one she has online at her website is slightly different, lacking the milk, but this is the one I copied from that 1999 cookbook, Weir Cooking: Recipes from the Wine Country and my handwritten copy of her recipe has the stains to prove how often I’ve used it.
The milk lends a lovely, satiny tenderness to the dough, that I love. (You can, of course, substitute your own favorite dough recipe, or use a store-bought pizza dough, which will save you some significant time in making this pizza.) And, good news: this recipe give you enough dough for 2 pizzas. So if you have a larger group coming for dinner, double the topping ingredient list. If there are just 4 of you, make one pizza out of half the dough, and freeze the rest for next time you want to make a pizza.
Now let’s move on the potatoes. I know what you’re saying. “Really? Potatoes?” But, yes, really. The original recipe called for “fingerling potatoes”, but fiddle-dee-dee, say I. A potato is a potato, and apart from new potatoes, which will give you a slightly waxier potato texture, the issue here is getting tender slices of potato, that are bite sized. So if you have smaller potatoes, use those.
Last time I made this, I had some smaller Yukon gold potatoes that I bought from Trader Joe’s, and which I liked very much. You only need 6 oz. which is not a lot, so if you have a scale, (and I hope you do, because it will make reproducing this recipe a lot easier) weigh your potatoes.
For me, I was surprised that it only took 3 small potatoes to get the weight I needed. If you’re using a larger potato, then cut it up into (small potato-sized) chunks before you boil it, which will lower the amount of time you need to boil it. Once you’ve boiled your potatoes until they are fork tender, remove them from the water, and let them cool for a while, before you slice them into thin slices, which is what you’ll want to put on the pizza.
Honestly, this is probably more of a spring pizza, since it has asparagus. But make it whenever you can find lovely, fresh, flavorful asparagus. You can tell in the store if it’s fresh because the tips of the asparagus stems will still be tightly closed, and not mushy. If the tips look like they’re opening up, or are mushy in any way, you probably don’t want to buy it.
The Goat Cheese:
As to the goat cheese? I confess I have far too many recipes with goat cheese, probably, but what is a goat cheese lover to do? Goat cheese is soft, creamy, and has a lovely tang. Put that on a potato, with plenty of salt and pepper and some asparagus that’s been roasted alongside, on top of a crispy, tender, but chewy crust, and you have a little slice of Nirvana. Sure, you could omit the goat cheese if you hate it, because this pizza also has mozzarella, and parmesan. Or you could substitute by using feta, I suppose, which has its own salty charms. Do what your allergies or taste preferences dictate. But as for me: give me goat cheese, every time.
- FOR THE CRUST:
- 3/4 c. lukewarm water (110º)
- 4 teaspoons yeast
- 5 1/2 c. bread flour (divided)
- 1 c. lukewarm water (110º)
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- cornmeal, for sprinkling pan under pizza crust
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- 5 oz. potatoes
- 1 t. salt
- 2 T. olive oil, divided
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
- 1 1/3 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
- 4 oz. soft, fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 8 oz. asparagus trimmed of woody ends, sliced into lengths of 2"
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
For the crust
- Combine the 3/4 c. of lukewarm water and the yeast in a small bowl. Stir in 1/2 c. flour, and let stand for 20 minutes. Pour this bubbly mixture into your mixer, and add the remaining 5 c. flour, the 1 c. of lukewarm water, the olive oil, milk, and salt. Mix the dough thoroughly, and then using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough for 10 minutes. (This can be done by hand, too, but it's a lot more work, and no more delicious.) The dough should be soft, and still moist, but not sticking to the side of the mixer bowl, so you can add more flour, 1/4 c. at a time if it seems to to be too sticky. Place in an oiled bowl, and flip it so that the dough is coated with a thin layer of olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot for a couple of hours, until the dough is doubled in size.
- (While the dough is rising, you can do the prep work for the topping.)
- When the dough has doubled in volume, shape one half of the dough into the size and shape pizza you desire, and place it on a baking sheet (I cover mine with parchment paper for easier cleanup) that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. I stretch mine into an oval that is approximately 16"x 11", to fit on my pan that is 13" x 19".
- (THIS IS ENOUGH DOUGH FOR TWO PIZZAS, SO IF YOUR FAMILY WILL ONLY EAT ONE, take half the dough and store it in a ziplock bag in the freezer, and it will be ready for another night.
- THE TOPPING AMOUNTS ARE ONLY ENOUGH FOR ONE PIZZA, SO IF YOUR FAMILY WILL EAT TWO PIZZAS, you'll need to double the amounts of toppings.)
- Place potatoes in a small saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1", and salt the water with about 1 t. salt. Bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes, and allow them to cool. Cut into thin slices.
- Preheat oven to 450º.
- Mix 1 T. of the olive oil with the minced garlic in a small bowl. Brush garlic oil all over dough. Sprinkle 3/4 of the sliced green onions over the dough. Follow that with the mozzarella, the potato slices and the goat cheese. Toss asparagus slices in a bowl with the other 1 T. of the olive oil. Scatter the asparagus slices over the pizza. Sprinkle with the grated parmesan, then sprinkle the entire pizza with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Bake until the crust is browned, and the asparagus is tender, about 18 minutes, depending on your oven. (Keep an eye on things: your eyes and nose will tell you when the pizza is ready.)
- Sprinkle with remaining green onion slices, slice, and serve.
- THIS IS ENOUGH DOUGH FOR TWO PIZZAS, SO IF YOUR FAMILY WILL ONLY EAT ONE, take half the dough and store it in a ziplock bag in the freezer, and it will be ready for another night.
- THE TOPPING AMOUNTS ARE ONLY ENOUGH FOR ONE PIZZA, SO IF YOUR FAMILY WILL EAT TWO PIZZAS, you'll need to double the amounts of toppings.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1502Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 2507mgCarbohydrates: 212gFiber: 12gSugar: 4gProtein: 51g