Two weeks ago, I made a big decision: I quit my job.
I had an offer to work in the kitchen of an incredible James Beard award-winning restaurant in New York, run by a chef who is one of the most influential people in the sustainable food movement. I have been a fan of his work for a very, very long time, and never in a million years did I think it would be possible for me to be a part of his restaurant. Pending the visa, I was ready to uproot myself and move to New York.
Unfortunately, the visa didn’t quite work out. What seemed so clear to me just a few weeks ago was shaken and toppled over, and for the past week, I have been trying to figure out my next steps. Whether it’s cooking, advocating for a more sustainable and ethical way of eating, or empowering women within the culinary industry, I know that, ultimately, I want to spend my life with food.
What’s going to happen next?
I have no idea, but I’m choosing to see this as a blessing in disguise.
Probably culinary school. But that might be next fall. There might be some traveling first.
In the meantime… here’s a potato-crusted pizza, inspired by my short time in the restaurant’s kitchen. They were serving a potato-crusted pizza made in cast-iron skillets with mushrooms and homemade cheese, and the sides of the potatoes were so perfectly crisp. Seeing as this month’s Recipe Redux challenge was pie, I decided to go the savoury route with pizza. Pizza is totally a pie, right?
NOTES: If you aren’t into the potato crust, regular pizza dough would be just as delicious. I love making pizza dough from scratch, but using potatoes as a crust is easy, no fuss, and saves me from having to knead and prepare fresh dough during a super busy work week. Yes, easy peasy vegan pizza! This pizza is vegan and gluten-free, but please add cheese if that’s what you’re feeling. The garlic scape pesto recipe I’ve included below is adapted from the New York Times.
POTATO-CRUSTED PIZZA WITH GARLIC SCAPE PESTO AND SQUASH BLOSSOMS
Yields 1 serving.
For the pizza crust:
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- 2 teaspoons rapeseed oil
- generous pinch of sea salt and crack of black pepper
For the garlic scape pesto:
- 10-12 garlic scapes
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- juice of 1 lemon
- sea salt, to taste
To top the pizza: squash blossoms- washed and dried, with anthers removed
- Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF. Slice the potato into medium thin slices with a mandolin, and evenly coat the slices with the potato starch and oil by tossing them together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.
- On a greased baking tray or tray lined with parchment paper or baking mat, create a pizza crust by forming a circle with the potato slices.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edge of the crust begins to turn a golden brown. While the potato crust is baking, prepare the garlic scape pesto by puréeing the garlic scapes. Add the sunflower seeds and pulse. Scrape down the sides, add the olive oil, and pulse again. Add the nutritional yeast, basil, and lemon juice, and purée until it reaches your desired consistency. Add more oil if necessary.
- Once the potato crust is done, remove from the oven. Spread the pesto onto the crust. Lay the squash blossoms on top of the pesto and bake the pizza for another 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and DEVOUR.
Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,