Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tomato Pesto Pizza

This recipe actually came from The Pioneer Woman and she called it Tomato Basil pizza HOWEVER, since the only basil is in pesto form, I've decided to dub this pizza Tomato Pesto pizza. I'll often make things at home with no regard for whether my pre-teen daughter will like it or not. Sure I WANT her to and sometimes she does and other times she doesn't but I've never let the fear of her potentially not liking it stop me from trying something new. Worst case if she doesn't like what I make for dinner, she can have a bowl of cereal (or twenty as young people are apt to do!). I did wonder if the pesto base would scare her off but not only did she like the pizza, this is her FAVORITE! Whenever I mention we're having pizza for dinner, her eyes light up and she asks "The green one?!". Anyhow, so when my girlfriends and I got together for a pizza party, I knew I wanted to make this Tomato Pesto Pizza. Even better, I recruited my daughter to help put it together. If you're feeling plucky, make your own pesto. It's easy! Or so I hear... I hadn't gotten around to doing that yet. My favorite pre-packaged pesto to use is by Buitoni and it can be found in the refrigerated deli section before you get to the fruits and vegetables (at least in all my area stores). I also buy the shredded Parmesan and fresh mozzarella in this section. Feel free to buy a hunk of Parmesan and shred it yourself but PLEASE do not skimp on the fresh mozzarella. PW shared a tip about freezing the mozzarella for about 1/5 hour to make it easier to slice. I hadn't had a chance to try that tip yet but I make sure to use a sharp knife. I always stick to Roma tomatoes but I suppose any type of tomato would probably be fine in a pinch.

You'll want to thinly slice the tomatoes which will allow you to cover the entire pizza in tomatoes without their moisture making a mess of the end result. You'll want to do the same with the mozzarella... thin slices covering almost every visible inch.

Let's keep it real kids. You may have already guessed from the fact that my pesto is store-bought that I'm no snob when it comes to using some pre-made products. It's just a fact of life. Sometimes it'll be made from scratch and sometimes there will be short-cuts. In the past I've used the Pillsbury pizza crust but most recently I used the Boboli crust. Either way worked in the end. So you start with your crust of choice and add a layer of pesto. Not too thick but enough to cover the entire surface. Skywalker laid on a bit thick per my direction. I got pesto-happy! Oops!

Sprinkle the pesto with Kosher salt, layer on the thinly sliced mozzarella and then the tomato slices. I sprinkle the tomatoes with freshly cracked peppers THEN sprinkle generously with the Parmesan. Don't be shy!

Bake in the oven per the crust directions but I'm prefer sure both were around 15 minutes at 450 (I think that's right, ha!).

Listen... this is dangerous. Skywalker and I POLISH this off. Every time... no matter how big or small that pizza is... we simply cannot stop eating it.

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