Between Fair Weather Farm at Fairhill and my little home garden I have an abundance of beautifully fragrant basil. I received several cups of sweet basil and cherry tomatoes in my work share and decided to make a pesto with the basil, which is a quick and easy way to use up basil and it keeps in the fridge for about a week or so. After I’d made the best tasting pesto I think I’ve ever had (fresh, local organic ingredients make all the difference!) it occurred to me how freaking amazing that pesto would taste on a home made pizza. Turns out I was right and it was so yummy that it is now up on my top five favorite pizzas we’ve made.
Fresh Basil Pesto
Several handfuls of organic sweet basil, torn
1 – 2 gloves garlic
about 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
about 1/4 cup of EVOO, more if needed
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
Salt and Pepper
In a small cast iron skillet or pan, gently toast the pine nuts until they’re slightly golden and fragrant. Immediately remove from heat. Pine nuts burn very easily and very quickly. Set aside to cool for just a few minutes. In a small food processor, puree all the ingredients together until smooth adding more EVOO if needed. Spread pesto on toasted fresh bread, mix it into your favorite pasta, coat chicken or fish with it, toss on raw cucumbers, or use on pizza.
Pesto Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
2 – 4 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Pizza Sauce
about a 1/2 pkg Sargento shredded Mozzarella and Smoked Provolone Cheese (or feel free to grate fresh cheese if you wish)
1 cup organic cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh purple basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out pizza dough and transfer to a pizza pan. Generously coat the dough with pesto. Flash bake the dough about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spread around the pizza sauce. Top with shredded cheese and cherry tomatoes. Bake in the oven about 20 to 25 minutes until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to rest about 5 minutes before topping with the chopped purple basil.