Monday, August 12, 2013

Almond Pesto Pizza

It had been a while since I had made a margherita pizza, and my basil plant was getting a little full so I decided to make some pesto pizza.  I didn't have any pine nuts, though, so I decided to substitute in some slivered almonds which I already had instead.

Don't they kind of look like pine nuts anyways?  I also threw in some baby spinach leaves as suggested by Kenji from Serious Eats to "add some more green without overwhelming the other flavors with excess basil."  Normally I probably would've been afraid that the spinach would add its own unwanted flavor, but after my experience with adding spinach to green smoothies, I've realized how innocuous spinach leaves can be when mixed with other ingredients.

Almond Pesto Pizza
makes two 10" pizzas

2 8 oz. balls of pizza dough
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed spinach leaves
1 small garlic clove
1-2 tablespoon Parmesan reggiano, grated
2 tablespoons raw slivered almonds
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks

Place a pizza stone on an oven rack set at the top 1/3 of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 550°F.

Add the basil, spinach, garlic, Parmesan reggiano, and almonds to a food processor.  While processing, stream in the olive oil until a smooth puree is formed.  Season with salt to taste.  Transfer to a small container and allow to settle.

Stretch the dough onto a parchment paper-lined flexible cutting board.

Spoon out some of the olive oil that has settled to the top of the pesto and spread over the pizza dough.

Drop dollops of pesto around the dough.  Top with the torn mozzarella.  Stretch and top the second ball of pizza dough.

Slide one of the pizzas and parchment paper onto the pizza stone and bake for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, turn the oven to broil and broil for 1-2 minutes.  Bake until the cheese is completely melted and the crust is golden with spots of brown and a few small spots of char.  

Use tongs to slide the pizza with the parchment paper from the pizza stone onto a cutting board.  Slice and serve!

Next:  Shakshuka Pizza
Previously:  Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream with Matcha Mochi Bits

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