I got sweet potatoes in one of my CSA boxes recently, and I wanted to use them in a new and exciting way. Again, I was drooling through my Food & Wine magazine, and I happened upon a recipe for pizza that used pureed sweet potato instead of tomato sauce. I was intrigued, especially when I realized the recipe called for making balsamic onions! I had a premade, whole wheat pizza shell handy, so I got to work on the pizza. I pretty much followed the original recipe, found here, except that I did not use soppressata and I added a couple toppings. I put goat cheese on the whole pizza, in addition to the mozzarella. I love goat cheese. It’s so creamy and rich. Also, I added some salami to one half of the pizza for my husband. He was pretty skeptical of the pizza, especially when I told him I used sweet potato puree instead of the usual tomato sauce. He hates what he calls “yuppy pizza” or “fancy pizza.” However, we both loved the pizza. The only critique I received from my husband was the crust–he felt with the type of pizza it was a thinner crust would better suit the pizza. Next time, I will make it myself.
The sweet potato puree was super easy to make. I simply boiled them until a fork slid through them easily. I thin drained the water and placed the sweet potatoes into my blender (which is my new favorite kitchen tool). I realized that to get the puree consistency I wanted, I had to add a little bit of water. I wished I had kept the water I boiled the potatoes in, but I did not. If you make this pizza or any sweet potato puree, I suggest reserving some of the boiling liquid.
I found that it took a lot longer for the onions to caramelize than the recipe indicated. I think this may be because I was using my large skillet, which does not have a lid. If you are without a lid, they will caramelize, it just takes time! Keep adding a couple tablespoons of water if it dries out.
When I assembled the pizza, I was afraid it was a little busy with the two cheeses and the new sauce….however, I found my side to be PERFECT! In fact, you almost don’t taste the sweet potato. It was a nice change, it didn’t have the acidity that can come with tomato sauce. Plus, since the onions took on an acidic quality, with the balsamic vinegar, the tomato sauce may have been overkill.
My husband joked that it wasn’t Italian pizza, which I quickly countered with the argument that neither was American pizza. What culture is a lover of the sweet potato? Where does it come from?
Making this dish made me realize how easy it is to make fresh, healthy baby food. I have some excess sweet potato puree in the fridge. I know there are quite a few of my friends who are moms that make their own baby food. What a great family meal–pizza for mom and dad, and pureed sweet potato for baby!