We love a gooey, cheese-and-pepperoni-laden pizza as much as anyone, but there are times when we like to keep it light and simple. These California-style pies have a minimum of toppings: just smoked mozzarella, sliced raw potatoes, fresh thyme, and a little dressed watercress to crown them after they leave the oven. Serve for a light lunch or supper, or make them as part of a bigger pizza party.

This recipe was featured as part of our Pizzas Built for Summer.

  • Yield: 2 pizzas, or 6 to 8 servings
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Active: 20 mins

Ingredients (9)

  • Basic Pizza Dough
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
  • 2 medium red or other waxy potatoes, such as fingerlings, sliced thin
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Olive oil, for brushing the crust
  • 1 handful watercress leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Divide the pizza dough into 2 balls and roll them out to 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to 2 baking sheets. Distribute the cheese, potatoes, garlic, salt, and thyme evenly over the pizzas.
  3. Bake the first pizza until the underside of the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the crust with a little olive oil (this gives it a nice sheen and a bit of extra flavor). Dress the watercress leaves with the vinaigrette and scatter half of them over the surface. Serve while hot. Repeat with the second pizza.