A couple of months ago, when I finished up residency and transitioned to my fellowship, I celebrated the way I celebrate many things – with great friends and lots of good pizza. I prepped toppings and dough in advance, heated up my pizza stone, and cranked out pizzas all night long. I can’t even remember the final number – maybe seven or eight, maybe more. I had so much fun coming up with topping combinations, mainly inspired by the huge bounty of late summer produce I had bought at the farmer’s market. One pizza I made that received rave reviews was the combination you see here – bacon, thinly sliced potatoes, caramelized onions, and gruyere cheese. It was one of the pizzas I made using gluten free dough, and so I restrained myself from trying it so those with restrictions would get their fill. After hearing their high praises, I knew I had to make it again so Ben and I could sample it ourselves, so last weekend I did just that. With toppings like these, it’s certainly no surprise that this pizza was fully deserving of all the hype. With the cold months looming ahead, it will be nice to have this as an option for a gourmet-style pizza that makes use of the scant produce still available this time of year.
About ¾ cup thinly sliced small potatoes, such as fingerling or red potatoes
4 tsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
Salt and pepper
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
Pizza dough for 1 large pizza (regular or whole grain)
3 oz. shredded mozzarella*
3 oz. shredded gruyere*
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
Minced fresh chives, for serving
Minced fresh thyme, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. In a bowl, combine the sliced potatoes with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and season with coarsely ground salt and pepper. Lay in an single layer on the baking sheet. Bake, flipping the slices over once, until the potatoes are just beginning to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, make the caramelized onions. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions to the pan with the sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and fully caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
To make the pizza, place a pizza stone in the oven and increase the temperature to 500˚ F. Preheat for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round on a piece of parchment paper. Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil. Sprinkle about two thirds of the shredded cheeses over the dough. Layer evenly with the caramelized onions, potato slices, and crumbled bacon. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.
Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone by sliding the parchment with the assembled pizza onto the stone, and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the herbs over the top of the pizza. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.
*For best results, always use freshly shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese comes coated in things such as flour or cornstarch to prevent clumping and results in an unpleasant, gritty texture when melted.