Potato & Béchamel Focaccia Pizzas with Arugula & Persimmon Salad

Potato & Béchamel Focaccia Pizzas

with Arugula & Persimmon Salad

Group Created with Sketch. 55 min
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500 Calories Or Less
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  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    4 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 625 Cals/serving

In the northern reaches of Italy, where the climate is cooler, pizza takes on extra heartiness. There, thinly sliced potatoes are layered together with creamy cheese atop béchamel, a velvety sauce made by thickening milk with roux (or flour cooked with butter). Our version features Fontina cheese, which turns golden brown and nutty as it melts. For a pop of seasonal flavor that balances the pizzas’ richness, we’re serving a salad of crunchy, sweet persimmon and peppery arugula. (Chefs, note that persimmons often develop brown spots as they reach peak flavor!)

In the northern reaches of Italy, where the climate is cooler, pizza takes on extra heartiness. There, thinly sliced potatoes are layered together with creamy cheese atop béchamel, a velvety sauce made by thickening milk with roux (or flour cooked with butter). Our version features Fontina cheese, which turns golden brown and nutty as it melts. For a pop of seasonal flavor that balances the pizzas’ richness, we’re serving a salad of crunchy, sweet persimmon and peppery arugula. (Chefs, note that persimmons often develop brown spots as they reach peak flavor!)

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Cook the potato:
1 Cook the potato:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the potato; cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Add the potato to the pot of boiling water and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until slightly tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly. Wipe out the pot.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the potato cooks, wash and dry the remaining fresh produce. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Medium dice the cheese (discarding any rind). Halve the bread. Peel the shallot and mince to get 2 tablespoons (you may have extra); place in a bowl with the vinegar. Core, halve and thinly slice the persimmon. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Make the béchamel sauce:
3 Make the béchamel sauce:

In the same pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until golden brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and ¼ cup of water. Cook, whisking frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble the pizzas:
4 Assemble the pizzas:

Place the bread on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Evenly top with the béchamel sauce, cooked potato and cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Bake & season the pizzas:
5 Bake & season the pizzas:

Place the pizzas in the oven and bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until the bread is browned and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the pizzas bake, to make the vinaigrette, slowly whisk 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bowl with the shallot-vinegar mixture until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the arugula and persimmon; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette); toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the seasoned pizzas with the parsley; cut each into 6 pieces and transfer to a serving dish. Serve with the salad. Enjoy!

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Cook the potato:
1 Cook the potato:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the potato; cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Add the potato to the pot of boiling water and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until slightly tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly. Wipe out the pot.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the potato cooks, wash and dry the remaining fresh produce. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Medium dice the cheese (discarding any rind). Halve the bread. Peel the shallot and mince to get 2 tablespoons (you may have extra); place in a bowl with the vinegar. Core, halve and thinly slice the persimmon. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Make the béchamel sauce:
3 Make the béchamel sauce:

In the same pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until golden brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and ¼ cup of water. Cook, whisking frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Assemble the pizzas:

Place the bread on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Evenly top with the béchamel sauce, cooked potato and cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the pizzas:
Bake & season the pizzas:
5 Bake & season the pizzas:

Place the pizzas in the oven and bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until the bread is browned and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the pizzas bake, to make the vinaigrette, slowly whisk 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bowl with the shallot-vinegar mixture until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the arugula and persimmon; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette); toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the seasoned pizzas with the parsley; cut each into 6 pieces and transfer to a serving dish. Serve with the salad. Enjoy!