As the smell of bubbling and melted goat cheese fills the kitchen, I turned to Jason and say, “This pizza is going to knock your socks off.”
He doesn’t believe me. But he nods as if uninterested and then pretends that he’s not totally scoping out my pizza. And I pretend that I don’t see him scoping out my pizza. Based on another night’s “exotic” collection of non-meat colored foods atop a crispy crust, he probably figures that I’m this close to making some line-in-the-sand announcement about going vegetarian.
Like I did that one time when I declared our house to be a carb-free house. For like 11.7 minutes (a house record, by the way). Or that time I gave up alcohol for [checks calendar] is that all?! It feels like a thousand years!
But bubbling and melting goat cheese and thin, crispy pizza crust have a way of distracting the meat lovers from the lack of meat on their pizza. A feat that’s maybe not such a feat when you consider that it’s pizza we’re talking about.
It’s a little different but the black bean-sweet potato combo is a good one. And paired with bubbling goat cheese, it’s a great one.
The sweet potatoes have to be cooked ahead of time because they won’t be in the oven long enough to get done on top of the pizza. You can do this several days before and keep them in the fridge. 1 medium sweet potato will yield enough slices for 3-4 individual sized pizzas or 2 large pizzas.
Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Goat Cheese Pizza
It's not your average veggie pizza when it's topped with black beans, sweet potatoes, and goat cheese.
- For the sweet potatoes:
- 1 medium sweet potato, sliced very thinly (if doing by hand, aim for 1/4-inch or less, if possible) and each slice quartered
- Olive oil
- For assembly:
- Your favorite pizza dough (or mine), ready to stretch and bake
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 2 oz shredded mozzarella
- 1 large green onion, thinly sliced and dark green tops reserved for topping
- Prepared sweet potato slices
- 1/2 small green bell pepper, core and seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 1/2-2/3 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 oz crumbled goat cheese
- Small handful of grated Parmesan
- Flour, for dusting surface
- Coarse cornmeal, for dusting surface
- Heat oven to 425.
- Toss quartered sweet potato slices with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes, until fork tender.
- Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven and increase oven to 550 (500 if your oven doesn't go that high), letting it hold at temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you're not using a pizza stone, just have your baking sheet nearby.)
- Dust a pizza peel or your baking sheet with a light dusting of flour and a couple generous pinches of cornmeal.
- Gently stretch the pizza dough in to a 12-14 inch round or divide into 3 portions and stretch, for individual-sized pizzas.
- Brush a ~1-inch border of olive oil around the edge of the pizza dough.
- Sprinkle the dough with mozzarella, followed by white/light green portions of the green onions, sweet potato slices, green peppers, black beans, goat cheese, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
- Transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven).
- Bake for 7-9 minutes for a single large pizza (5-7 for individual pizzas), until the dough is blistered, the edges are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese starts to brown.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with the sliced dark green onion tops, slice, and serve.
Yields: 1 large pizza or 3 individual pizzas
Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes