Purple sweet potato, arugula, and olive pizza

Purple sweet potato pizza with arugula

Purple sweet potato pizza with arugula

While Malcolm is away, Isaac gets to call all the shots. So we watched a show on dinosaurs. He likes these shows with men and women in denim shirts and floppy hats, leaning on their tanned knees and peering out over the desert. They tell us about dinosaur bones, and then we see very realistic animations of the dinosaurs who had those bones, trundling or scuttling around the prehistoric forests. Last night’s show was about the T-rex, who apparently had a bigger brain than anyone gave him credit for, but moved more slowly. Somewhere in the world (I’ll admit I wasn’t paying very close attention) a group of T-rex bones were found close to one another. Four whole dinosaurs! Why? Why exactly did they live and die so close to each other? According to the experts, it was probably a sign that they hunted in packs. “These shows always miss the obvious,” said our Isaac, with a sigh in his voice. “They’re always looking for attacking and fighting. What if the dinosaurs just wanted to be with each other?” They’re not hunting in packs, they’re making dinner together. They’re just sharing their food, and keeping each other warm. And in a second, in the twinkling of an eye, I saw that the whole history of man and beast has been approached from the wrong angle. Our history shouldn’t be told as a succession of wars and disasters and people tearing one another apart! It should be about people just wanting to be with each other. Take note, historians and anthropologists and archeologists. It’s just so obvious.

This pizza was very very tasty. I couldn’t resist buying some purple sweet potatoes, they’re just so pretty. So I sliced them thin and roasted them with olive oil, balsamic, rosemary and smoked paprika. Sort of like sweet potato pepperoni!! And then I decided to put them on a pizza with baby arugula and black olives. Sweet meets peppery meets salty. I put some of the arugula under the cheese, and I scattered some on top at the end. I used a mixture of sharp white cheddar and mozzarella, which I think was a good combination, but obviously you can use whatever you like. And that’s that.

Here’s Louis Armstrong singing Get Together (yes, that Get Together!!)


(enough for two largish pies)

1 t yeast
1 t sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups flour
1/2 t each dried oregano and basil
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1 t salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Combine the yeast, sugar and half a cup warm water in a small bowl, and leave in a warm place for about ten minutes to get foamy.

In a large bowl combine the flour, herbs, pepper, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Stir well, and add enough warm water to form a soft dough. You want it to be as wet as it can that you can still comfortably knead it. Knead for about 5 minutes until soft and elastic. Put about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Roll the dough in this so that it’s evenly coated. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside for two to five hours, till it’s doubled in size.


2 long thin sweet potatoes (purple are nice!) peeled and cut into 1/8th inch slices
olive oil to coat
1/2 t smoked paprika
dash balsamic
2 t fresh rosemary, chopped
2 plump cloves garlic

1 cup grated mozzarella (or more, if you like)
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar (or more, if you like)
1/2 cup pitted olives, chopped
2 cups baby arugula, washed and roughly chopped, plus more to scatter on top
fresh basil, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, balsamic smoked paprika, and rosemary and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 1/2 hour, or until soft inside and crispy outside. Turn from time to time to ensure even roasting. Set these aside and turn the oven up to 450.

Lightly oil two baking sheets, and divide your dough in half. Press the dough evenly on the baking sheets, building up the edges to make a crust. Put in the oven for about 5 minutes, just till they lose their shine, to pre-bake them.

Remove from the oven. Smush the roasted garlic and spread it over the dough. Top with a thin layer of arugula, then both cheeses (as much as you like). Top with an even layer of sweet potato slices, scatter with olives and return to the oven.

Bake until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 to 15 minutes. You can place it under the broiler for a few moments to make it extra melty and bubbly, if you like.


1 thought on “Purple sweet potato, arugula, and olive pizza

  1. Love Isaac’s perspective. I always wanted a Samoyed Dog because of their long history of sleeping with their humans in Siberia. They kept each other warm. Yeah, they can herd reindeer, but they really just want to be with us; together with their family. Together, like our (non-Samoyed) pups are tonight, by the fireplace.

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