Friday, June 19, 2009
summer squash and pesto pizza
i got an aero grow garden for christmas and had an amazing crop of basil almost right away. so when the time to harvest grew close i made plans for making a stellar pesto with my own basil, and i was elated. there are as many different types of pesto as there are languages in this world, but this is a more traditional take. the flavors are amazing, and the texture is great, this sauce really speaks of freshness and i love that.
i decided that instead of putting this on a pasta i would spread it on a pizza, and then top with veggies. i chose thinly sliced summer squash, but zucchini, tomatoes, or even eggplant would be amazing here as well.
2 big handfuls of fresh basil leaves (about 3 cups)
4 to 5 cloves of garlic (for a softer taste you can use roasted garlic or garlic confit)
1 package (4 oz.) of pine nuts
2 cups of finely grated parmesan cheese
for the pizza:
one whole wheat pizza crust recipe, here
one batch of the above pesto
2 summer squash
about 3 cups of mozzarella
red pepper flakes
toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over high heat until lightly browned and nutty smelling. add the pine nuts, basil, garlic, parmesan and salt (to taste - start with a good pinch) into the bowl of your food processor and pulse until all of the ingredients are well chopped. stream in the olive oil slowly until the pesto begins to pull away from the sides of the food processor bowl. you want this to be thicker than a normal pesto for the pizza sauce...so that it doesn't make the crust soggy. however, if you are using this pesto recipe for pasta you'd want to stream in extra oil so that it's nice and runny and deliciously oily. taste and add more salt if needed.
preheat oven to 425 degrees.
prepare the pizza crust per the recipe and once it's rolled out layer on the pesto evenly. thinly slice the summer squash (i used my mandoline, but a nice sharp knife would do as well) and then layer them on evenly. top with a thin layer of the cheese and sprinkle on some crushed red pepper flakes. pop into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese and crust are golden. enjoy!
mmm, pizza. actually, we are having it again tonight for dinner. well, calzones to be more exact but i think you get the idea; we eat a lot of pizza in our house! this was a particularly healthy one, and the pesto made it taste decadent and rich. mix up the vegetables on this one for a playful approach to pizza at your house.