Are there some things you feel like you cannot tire of? Even if you’ve managed to eat them many days in a row. Pizza is one of those meals that can be rocked out in a million ways, and we’ve successfully fashioned at least a thousand versions that have made us happy. Most recently, we provided pizzas for a professional event and baked up a pizza for our first video. There was also a quick and easy dessert pizza for a friend’s birthday almost two years ago. When another strong hankering for crunchy crust and savory toppings bubbled to the surface, it was time to think of a new way to serve it up. One of the favorite vegetables around these parts is sweet potato. If you don’t know by now, let it be known that a sweet potato will not go uneaten when once placed under our respective forks and knives. Tossing slices of sweet potatoes on a pizza seemed like just the way to go with this one. All that potato needed was a few more friends to round out one of the world’s best pizzas.
Another flavor combination that you’ll find here often is sweet and savory. Sweet potatoes love a savory or salty pair, and sausage seemed like a great choice of meat for the occasion. Another sweet element comes from strings of caramelized onions tossed amongst the other toppings. Finally, it’s the thin layer of roasted garlic and rosemary cream cheese spread along the crust that acts as an aromatic glue to hold everything in place. This is the perfect pizza to slide into the oven of course, but if you have the opportunity to grill it, go for it. Sweet potatoes and sausage on the grill are a delight. Just so you know, this was a completely vegan pizza. The appropriate substitutions have been noted below, so you can make this same pizza to your liking.
Sweet Potato, Sausage and Caramelized Onion Pizza – Serves 8
1 pizza dough
1 head garlic, unpeeled
2 sweet potatoes, with peel
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Italian sausage links, sliced thinly*
2 red onions, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
4 ounces cream cheese**
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups fresh arugula
1. Wrap the head of garlic in foil and place it on a baking sheet, along with the sweet potatoes. Roast in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the potatoes have just begun to soften. Remove from oven to cool slightly, and turn oven’s heat up to 450 degrees.
2. While the potatoes cool, heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium flame. Once hot, add the sausage and brown, cooking until done according to package directions. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
3. Add the onions directly into the same pan in which the sausage cooked and toss them around in the oil. Cook until they have begun to wilt and turn translucent, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the bourbon, brown sugar and water. Mix well, then cook another 4-6 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
4. By now the garlic should be just cool enough to touch. Carefully squeeze each clove out of the peel, mashing with your fingers as they come out. Stir the roughly mashed cloves into the cream cheese, along with the rosemary, salt and lemon juice, until you have a smooth consistency.
5. The sweet potatoes should also be just cool enough to touch. If not, wait a few more minutes. When ready, slice each one into 1/4″ rounds.
6. Roll out the pizza dough onto a floured surface to the shape of your pizza pan or stone, then carefully place onto the pan or stone. Spread the garlic and cream cheese mixture all around the dough, making sure to cover the surface evenly. Sprinkle the arugula on top, followed by the sweet potatoes and cooked sausage. Top the pizza with the onions.
7. Slide pizza into the oven and bake 10-15 minutes or until the crust is browned, crispy and the onions have darkened in color just slightly. Cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.
*We used vegan-friendly Tofurkey Italian sausage links here. You can use your favorite variety.
**We used vegan-friendly Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese here. Again, use your favorite variety.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.