Mashed brown butter & thyme sweet potatoes, vegetarian stuffing (with roasted chestnuts, apples, leeks, celery, wheat & white bread crumbs, onions, dried cranberries, thyme, sage & parsley), shaved gruyere, oven-roasted turkey
1 ball of pizza dough
flour for dusting
semolina flour for pizza stone
salt & pepper
4 cloves garlic
3 large sweet potatoes
1 stick unsalted butter
2 ½ tablespoons chopped thyme
1 hunk gruyere, shaved
roasted turkey (we used leftovers from our Friendsgiving dinner, but you can buy this at the supermarket)
For the stuffing:
3 leeks (white & pale green parts only), sliced about ½ inch thick
2 celery stalks, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & diced
1 stick unsalted butter
2 loaves of bread (1 white, 1 wheat; we used a country wheat loaf & a tuscan boule), cut into cubes (about 6 cups worth)
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup vegetable broth
1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon chopped sage
a few handfuls whole chestnuts
½ cup dried cranberries
1 white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
Preheat your oven to 400° F. While it’s heating, lay your chestnuts out on a baking sheet and cut ‘X’s into the flat side, using a paring knife. This will ensure that the chestnuts don’t explode. For especially large ones, you may even want to cut 'X’s on both sides. Bake them for about 15 minutes, or until the shells open up. Then let them cool before you peel off the shells and chop the chestnuts.
Decrease the oven temperature to 375° F. Prepare the sweet potatoes by placing them in the center of a baking sheet lined with foil. Place 4 garlic cloves between the potatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Then wrap them in the foil and put them in the oven for about an hour and fifteen minutes, or until tender.
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, you can toast the bread crumbs. Unless you have left your bread crumbs out overnight to dry, you get dry them out easily in the oven. Just place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes, until they are hard, but not necessarily toasty.
Meanwhile, melt a stick of butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. When it’s melted, add the leeks, celery, onion & 4 cloves of garlic, and cover, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Then add the apples, a teaspoon of thyme, and a pinch or two of salt & pepper. Continue cooking, covered, for about 5 more minutes, or until the apples have softened.
Add the mixture to a large bowl, stirring in the dried cranberries, chestnuts, and toasted bread crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the heavy cream, and add that to the large bowl along with the vegetable broth. Stir everything together until it is completely mixed, and then pour it into an oven-proof baking dish, and bake for about 30 minutes.
Next, you can start preparing the brown butter. In a small saucepan, melt a stick of butter over medium heat. When it’s completely melted, add 2 ½ tablespoons of the fresh thyme and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter has turned a nice nutty brown. You should take it off the heat as soon as it turns this color, or else it will start to burn.
When the sweet potatoes are finished baking, peel off the skins and mash the potatoes in a bowl, using a fork or a potato masher if you have one. As you mash them, add a little bit of the brown butter at a time, stirring it together until you’ve poured all of the butter into the potatoes. Add salt & pepper to taste.
When everything is done in the oven, you can increase the temperature to 550° F, or as hot as it will go. Prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. When the oven is hot and the dough has pre-baked, brush it lightly with olive oil.
Next, spread a thin layer of the mashed sweet potatoes over the pizza as a base. You will probably have potatoes left over—they taste delicious on their own, so feel free to save them for later! Next, add the shaved Gruyere.
Spoon out as much of the stuffing as you like, making sure to spread it out as evenly as possible. Then sprinkle the turkey slices on (feel free to leave a slice or two empty for vegetarian friends like we did), and pop the pizza in the oven. Bake until the crust is a nice golden brown and the bread crumbs are toasty on top, then take it out and share with your friends and family! Happy Thanksgiving!
*It is perfectly acceptable to just buy canned roasted chestnuts. I'm just giving you the instructions to roast them yourself in case you're feeling adventurous—they are definitely extra delicious.