How was your Turkey Day? Did you cook? Were you a guest? Do you have plenty of leftovers? For the last few years, I’ve contributed nothing to my family’s Thanksgiving table. As a passionate cook, I actually look forward to not seeing my kitchen for few days. Cooking is a tedious labor of love, and I deserve a break.
One of the drawbacks of being a guest at a family or friend’s Thanksgiving dinner is waking up the next morning to an empty refrigerator. In my case, we’re unable to take leftovers home; because the traveling time is too long to maintain the freshness of the food (We occasionally take the risk… Who can say no to smoked turkey?).
Having leftovers or none, this Sweet Potato Pizza with Caramelized Shallots, Smoked Mozzarella Pizza and Wilted Arugula is the perfect dish to serve after Thanksgiving. It’s a comfort dish with unexpected flavors making this a healthy twist to an old favorite.
The basic pizza crust of this recipe has whole-wheat flour with a little fresh rosemary thrown in for a piney taste. Thinly sliced sweet potatoes offer a sweeter taste. Fresh smoked mozzarella adds its characteristic bold and creamy texture. The caramelized shallots are warm, savory and sweet. After the pizza has baked, fresh baby arugula leaves are scattered on top for a fresh and mild peppery taste.
If you’re lucky to have leftovers, try adding leftover turkey on top of this pizza. Maybe, add a tablespoon of cranberry salsa or a smear of cranberry jelly. Serve with apple cider beer during the day or regular apple cider juice in the morning. Quite honestly, this pizza is actually better the next day for breakfast when the flavors marinate overnight… if you’re lucky to have leftover slices of this pizza.
Sweet Potato, Caramelized Shallots, Smoked Mozzarella Pizza with Wilted Arugula
Olive oil; as needed
1/2-cup minced fresh rosemary
1 recipe for pizza dough (recipe found here)* or store-brought wheat
1/2 lb. sweet potatoes; peeled and thinly sliced (if available, use a mandolin)
3 shallots; thinly sliced
1 tbsp. sherry
10 oz. smoked mozzarella; thinly sliced
1/4 lb. fresh baby arugula
Sea salt and fresh black pepper; as needed
1. If using homemade pizza dough, follow the directions here and read the note below for adding wheat flour and rosemary.
2. Lightly blanch sweet potatoes in boiling water for three minutes. Drain sweet potato slices in a colander and rinse under cold water. Place aside.
3. Preheat oven to its highest temperature.
4. Over medium-low heat, warm about 1 to 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet. Once hot, add shallots, 1/4-cup fresh rosemary, sherry, salt, and black pepper. Stir frequently for about 10 minutes or until shallots are a golden caramelize brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
5. On a baking sheet greased with olive oil, shape dough into a rustic circle or rectangle within the boundaries of the baking sheet. If dough is initially resistant, let it rest for a few minutes and continue shaping the dough.
6. Lightly drizzle olive oil over the dough. Layer sweet potato slices over the dough within one-inch away from the edge. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt, fresh black pepper and little fresh rosemary.
7. Place smoked mozzarella over the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle caramelized shallots on top of the mozzarella. Sprinkle with sea salt, fresh black pepper and a little more rosemary. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.
8. Place baking sheet in the oven. Bake pizza for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
9. Remove from the oven and immediately top with fresh arugula. Sprinkle more sea salt, black pepper and fresh rosemary.
10. Serve slices warm and enjoy.
*Note: In the original pizza dough recipe, use 2 cups of unbleached white flour and 1-cup whole-wheat flour instead of 3-cups of white flour. In addition, add 2 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary with the spices in step 1.