Pesto


Pesto Pizza Recipe
Pesto Pizza Recipe

Pesto, pesto, pesto! I don’t remember ever eating it until my University days. I lived in house with 4 other girls, one of them being Abbey. I remember thinking how exotic all the food her family ate was. Her dad makes Lebanese recipes and is a great cook (her mum too!). Okra, kibbeh, grape leaves, hummus, and some yummy stews were sent back with Abbey, and of course, she shared!

Abbey and I would grocery shop and cook together, and pretty much everything else, including school because we were in the same program. I remember cooking chicken on the stove and by the end, it was all cut into pieces because we would check every slice to make sure it was cooked all the way through. We were both very anxious cooks!

Abbey introduced me to Pesto Pizza. It is simple, delicious, and requires minimal ingredients (probably why we made it so often in University). We also made scones all the time because most recipes don’t call for eggs (which we would never have on hand for some reason). We even used chocolate milk in substitute for milk (only one time because it was... um, terrible). We were always searching for flourless, eggless or butterless recipes because we could never get it together!

Pesto Pizza Recipe
Pesto Pizza Recipe

Back to pesto pizza: we would flatten out the pizza dough on a cookie sheet, slather on basil pesto, cover with thinly sliced potatoes, and sprinkle lightly with whatever cheese we had. Potatoes on pizza, how exotic (is probably what I was thinking!). We used to buy pesto in jars, but it is so easy and satisfying to make yourself. You can leave out the Parmesan and freeze it or keep it in the fridge covering the top with a layer of oil.

The only problem I have with pesto is that Pasta Genova’s is better than mine! I love pesto, and more often eat it on pasta. Pasta Genova has a pesto that is so delicious I can (and do) eat it by the spoon, on its own. I don’t know how they do it.

My last attempt was the best pesto I have made to date. I have tried various recipes; some with lemon juice, toasted pine nuts, and various ratios of pine nuts to oil. The next recipe to try is my boyfriend’s mother’s! I hear it’s great!

Pesto Pizza Recipe
Pesto Pizza Recipe

Pesto

My modified version of the recipe

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

4 Tbsp pine nuts or blanched almonds

1 clove garlic

salt

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (not optional)

The Farm and City Recipe

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

4 Tbsp pine nuts or blanched almonds

3 cloves garlic

salt

¾ cup olive oil

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Blend basil, pine nuts, garlic and salt in blender or food processor.

Slowly drizzle in olive oil while machine is running.

Blend in Parmesan cheese until smooth.

Makes enough for 1 lb of pasta.

Pesto Pizza Recipe

Pesto Pizza

1 pizza dough

4 Tbsp pesto

1-2 potatoes, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp Parmesan

1 tsp rosemary

4 Tbsp goat cheese

Stretch pizza dough in rectangle and transfer to parchment lined cookie sheet.

Spread pesto on dough, leaving 2 cm border for the crust. Slightly overlap potatoes to completely cover pesto (they shrink up a bit when cooking). Drop goat cheese in 10 dollops on top of potatoes.

Sprinkle Parmesan and rosemary on 2 cm border you’ve created for the crust.

Bake at 400°F for 18-22 minutes until crust is golden.

Pesto Pizza Recipe
Pesto Pizza Recipe

*Recipe from The Farm and City Cookbook