Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Pesto Pizza

Some my friend Melissa recommended I write up some my my favorite recipes all from the garden plot. I have a rather large garden and love to create new colorful recipes. In addition, I spend the summer months PYO fruit. So I will work this summer to write up new recipes from my garden and summer of picking. One of my main goals is to can, can, can. I have started off pretty good, but cannot wait to can more.

So tonight we ate Pesto Tomato Pizza. I used a pizza dough I use on a regular basis, but changed the topping to Fresh Homemade Pesto, Freshly picked tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. It was yummy, but could be better. I suggest using the tomato pesto previously posted (the last one). I would still add more tomatoes on top, but changing it up a bit.

Summer Pesto Pizza:

Freshly made pizza dough (recipe to follow)
1/2 cup pesto (recipe to follow)
3 medium tomatoes, sliced
2 cups mozzarella cheese (I used a ball mozzarella and not shredded).

Cook dough for 5-8 minutes on 450'. Remove from oven and spread pesto on crust. Top with tomatoes and cheese. Garnish with fresh basil leaves (optional- and should be placed just before serving). Bake in pre-heated open at 450' for 5-8 minutes and cheese is melted.

Pizza Dough Recipe:
(from my friend Erika)

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cup warm water (100'F)
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP olive oil
3 1/3 cup all purpose flour (I used 50% white and 50% fresh ground whole wheat)

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cup of flour. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until doubled, the should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight bowl. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling it out.
Use your favorite pizza recipe. Preheat oven to 425'. If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a regular pan, lightly oil the pan and let the dough rise in your pan for 15-20 minutes before topping and baking it. Bake pizza in pre-heated oven, until cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Fresh homemade Pesto:

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves and tender stems
1-3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts
3-6 TBSP Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt to taste
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place first 5 ingredients in your food processor. Pulse till mixed, the turn on low speed and slowly pour in olive oil until it makes a thick paste. Serve at room temperature.

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