Date Night In: Sweet Potato, Blue Cheese and Tatsoi Pizza

12 Nov

It was Saturday night. We were hungry, having missed lunch, and in the mood for a special dinner. Monday through Friday mean pasta, salad, a quick stir-fry—the weekend calls for something a bit more, something that can take a little longer without resulting in a midnight dinner (great for vacation in Spain, not so great for the American workweek).

The meal had two stipulations: it had to be made at home, using primarily things we already had in the house, and it had to involve blue cheese. The first stipulation was a result of an overextended restaurant budget mainly but not entirely due to our recent trip to Charleston, and the second was a result of an impending expiration date. One should never let good cheese go to waste.

Our arsenal included the aforementioned blue cheese, a small bag of baby sweet potatoes and two bunches of tatsoi. All of them were at the “use it or lose it” stage.  I had first tried tatsoi, an Asian green similar to spinach, the week prior in Charleston. When I saw it at the farmers’ market two days after our return, the veggie nerd in me had to have it. The tatsoi’s original destination was a stir-fry, but somehow tatsoi and sweet potato stir-fry with a blue cheese sauce did not sound entirely appetizing, even if I could try to pass it off as French-Asian fusion.

Having finally purchased a pizza stone and realizing that yes, it really does make a better crust, we decided on pizza. We could slice the sweet potatoes paper thin using the mandolin we’ve been afraid to un-sheath, caramelize some onions, sauté the tatsoi and finish it all off with crumbled blue cheese. We bought a bag of whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe’s to save time and I grabbed some rosemary to round it out. Mission nearly accomplished. We had only two things standing in our way: 1) could we use the mandolin without a trip to the emergency room and 2) does tatsoi go with sweet potatoes and blue cheese? It seemed like it would but having only tried it once, I really had no idea.

The mandolin was a bit tricky with baby sweet potatoes but Ben managed it well with no blood and only a bit of cursing. I stood on the sidelines offering helpful hints gleaned from the instruction pamphlet and within a few minutes, our sweet potato slices were roasting in the oven with a bit of olive oil and fresh rosemary. As for the tatsoi, I decided to go with leaves only and saved the stems for a future stir-fry. I sautéed up some garlic chips first and after setting them aside, I added a bit more oil to the pan, toasted some chilli flakes and tossed in the tatsoi leaves for a brief wilt.   We started the pizza with just some olive oil, rosemary and sea salt to get a nice, crisp crust and then added the toppings for the second half of cooking. In addition to the greens, roasted sweet potatoes and cheese, we included caramelized red onions for additional sweetness and depth of flavor. This also helped to balance out the strong blue cheese.

In the end, the mission was accomplished. We wound up with a sweet, savory and incredibly flavorful pie—definitely worthy of a Saturday night.  Sweet potatoes, tatsoi and blue cheese do indeed go together and the mandolin was worth the effort. Keeping the slices super thin helped keep the pizza light and also cut down on roasting time. If you don’t have a mandolin, just slice the sweet potatoes as thinly as possible and keep them in the oven a bit longer if needed.  Can’t find tatsoi? Try another green like spinach, chard, or kale.  Hate blue cheese? Fontina would probably be great or just go with mozzarella. When it comes to a kitchen-sink pizza, the possibilities are endless.


  • 1 bag pre-made pizza dough (we used the whole wheat dough from Trader Joes—you could also make your own)
  • 4-5 baby sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced paper thin
  • Few sprigs rosemary, minced
  • Few cloves garlic, cut into thick slices
  • ½ large red onion, sliced into rings (you could also use yellow onion or shallots)
  • 2 bunches tatsoi, leaves only, roughly chopped (save the stems for something else)
  • Chili flakes
  •  ½ wedge blue cheese, crumbled (we used a Point Reyes blue)
  •  Olive oil
  •  Salt & pepper


  1. Toss the sweet potatoes with some olive oil and rosemary and roast at about 400 degrees until browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Pull out of the oven and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Set potatoes aside and turn heat up to 450. Put your pizza stone in to heat up.
  3. Saute the red onion in olive oil over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are completely soft and brown; set aside.
  4. Heat some olive oil on medium-high heat and briefly sauté the garlic chips until just lightly golden—do not let them brown past this point. Remove the garlic from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add a bit more oil to the pan and add chili flake to taste (I added a healthy sprinkle). Toast for about 30 seconds and add the tatsoi.
  6. Cook just long enough to let the tatsoi wilt—this will be less than a minute. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. Roll out your dough and place onto a pizza pan, sprinkled with a bit of cornmeal. Lightly coat the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and rosemary.
  8. Cook the pizza about 10 minutes until it’s lightly golden and then pull out to add the toppings.
  9. Add the sweet potatoes, onions, tatsoi, garlic and blue cheese and put the pizza back in the oven for another seven minutes or so until the pizza is fully golden and the cheese has melted.

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