Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pesto Pizza

In the summer (or anytime) there is nothing like a fresh batch of homemade basil pesto!  I mean who doesn't like, basil, nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil?!  It can be expensive to make, but it is totally worth every cent.  I grow my own basil (in a pot) and leave it outside.  If you do this, make sure to water it EVERYDAY!  I trim it back once a week to make a batch of pesto, and by the next time I use  it, it has grown back to the same size if not bigger.

Basic Basil Pesto

3 cups of tightly packed fresh basil (no stems)- or fill the food processor loosely to the top
2-3 cloves of garlic (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor (minus the olive oil), pulse until its in small pieces then add olive oil.

Pizza Dough (one dough)

1 cup warm water
1 pkg. active yeast
2 tbls honey
2 tbls olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups of flour (you may use more or less)

Dissolve yeast in the water, salt and honey (in kitchen aid mixer bowl).  Wait 10 minutes, or until the yeast is fluffy looking.  Add olive oil, and then add 1/2 cup of flour at a time (using dough hook) until it is not too sticky to pick up.  Kneed the dough on floured surface, and place in a oiled bowl (or floured bowl).  I put saran wrap on it to help it rise faster.  Let rise 1 hr or until doubled in size.  Once it has rose, punch it and let it sit for another 10 min.  -

 I usually make two batches of dough, so it is o.k. to double everything at once.

Pesto, Shrimp, and Tomato Pizza

1 pizza dough
1/2 of the basil pesto
1 tomato
1/2 lb shrimp
1 1/2-2 cups of mozzarella

Preheat 375.  Stretch one pizza dough onto an oiled pan (don't precook dough).  Place pesto all over the dough.  Then add the rest of your ingredients. Cook pizza 15 or so minutes, or until cheese is melted and dough is cooked.

This pizza is amazing, it is so fresh a delicious!!!  The crust doesn't get too crispy because of all the olive oil, but it is soft and moist.  By adding the shrimp, and tomatoes it makes it a real meal.  I never thought to add seafood to a pizza, let alone  cheese but having it with the pesto complements it perfectly!  We made two of them, so we had leftovers, so the next day we pan fried them (like my dad does) and it gets the crust nice and crispy!  It was almost better the second day.

Ps.  A few glasses of red wine goes perfectly!!!

Buon appetito,

Mary Proulx

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