What exactly is American food? asked Nina Elder in Bon Appétit. “Fried chicken? A great big juicy T-bone steak?” Trying to define our nation’s quintessential culinary favorites is an almost impossible task. If one man likes spaghetti with meatballs, his wife may prefer slow-cooked beef-and-sausage ragú ladled over whole-grain pasta.
One undoubtedly iconic dish is pizza. For our recent roundup of “new American classics,” contributing editor Jeanne Thiel Kelley devised this fun, fresh version of white pizza, adding colorful asparagus, tangy goat cheese, and fingerling potatoes —“yes, potatoes”—to the traditional pie. (Recipes for more “new American classics” can be found at Bonappetit.com.)
Recipe of the week
Asparagus, Fingerling Potato, and Goat Cheese Pizza
5 oz fingerling potatoes
Cornmeal (for sprinkling)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, pressed
4 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
1-1/3 cups grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 6 oz)
4 oz soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
8 oz asparagus, trimmed, each spear cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place potatoes in small saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Cool. Cut potatoes into thin slices. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll and stretch pizza dough to 16-by-11-inch oval. Transfer to baking sheet. Mix 1 tbsp olive oil and garlic in small bowl. Brush garlic oil over dough. Sprinkle 3/4 of green onions over, then mozzarella, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Top with potato slices and goat cheese. Toss asparagus and 1 tbsp oil in medium bowl. Scatter asparagus over pizza. Sprinkle with Parmesan, then lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Bake pizza until crust is browned and asparagus is tender, about 18 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Sprinkle with remaining green onions. Cut into pieces. Serves four.
1 cup (or more) warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
3 tbsp vital wheat gluten (available at natural food stores)
1-1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Whisk 1 cup warm water and yeast in small bowl; let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Using on/off turns, mix both flours, wheat gluten, and coarse salt in processor. Whisk 2 tbsp oil into yeast mixture. With machine running, gradually add yeast mixture through feed tube of processor. Process until dough forms ball, adding more warm water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 1 minute. Transfer dough to floured work surface; knead until dough comes together.
Brush large bowl with 1 tbsp oil. Place dough in bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with kitchen towel. Let rise in warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Punch dough down. Divide in half; form into 2 balls. Do ahead: Place each ball in separate, resealable plastic bag. Chill up to 4 days or freeze up to 1 month. Let chilled dough stand 1 hour or frozen dough stand 4 hours at room temperature before rolling. Makes 2 crusts.