Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Simple Pesto Pizza

On the road again... yes, that might be my theme song this next while. With all that life has thrown at me of late, I'm finding more solace being out on the road than usual. Seeing old pals, new and familiar places, watching spring blossom across the country. The only down side to work travel is that I have so little time to cook and bake. However, being the planner I am I spent winter and early spring stashing away a few good recipes and treats to keep this little blog going. One of my favorites is this easy breezy Pesto Pizza recipe.

Ok, so maybe it is a wee bit on the easy breezy side of things but it's still food and it's still delicious. And it still gets the job done in satisfying my pizza cravings. I don't know about you, but I firmly believe that pizza making is an art form all of its own and is different for everyone.

For this pizza, it's fairly simple. I used a store-bought rosemary pizza dough from the local market, although when time allows I try to make my own. Assemble your favorite toppings and instead of tomato sauce use some fresh pesto. If you have the chance to make it homemade - go for it! Ah, homemade pesto...what a blissful creation. If you are like me and usually running out of time, most markets make or offer fairly decent fresh pesto (look in the refrigerated pasta section).

Roll out and/or hand toss your dough (I usually do both), add some pesto as a base sauce, then go to town with your toppings. This time around I added onion, artichoke hearts, a few kinds of white cheese, fresh herbs from the garden as well as some dried ones, and mushrooms. Pop that bad boy in the oven and bake until light golden brown. Enjoy!

Simple Pesto Pizza
  • Pizza dough (store bought or homemade) 
  • Pesto sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • White cheeses - mozzarella, asiago, parmesan, chevre/goat cheese, etc. 
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed 
  • 1/8 cup diced onion
  • 1/8 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4-1/2 can artichoke hearts, drained and rinced 
  • fresh and/or dried herbs - oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil

Preheat your oven to 425 F or whatever the store-bought pizza dough requires.

On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into a large circle. Hand tossing is also encouraged as it adds a wonderful texture to the baked pizza dough. Using a fork, prick the pizza dough throughout. Add a good layer of pesto sauce, then add a layer of the various cheeses on top. Next add the minced garlic, onions, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and dried herbs.

Using either a pizza stone or a baking sheet, place the pizza in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or as the pizza dough directions specify. Let the pizza cool on the counter for a few minutes, then slice and serve. Tastes delicious for breakfast the next day.

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