Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Homemade Pesto Pizza

Had I known sooner how easy it is to make tasty pizza at home, I would have started making it so much sooner.  My best friend Karen and her husband are wonderful cooks.  Many years ago, we used to do a rotating Thursday night dinner club where we'd take turns eating at each other's houses.  I always looked forward to the Thursdays when it was their turn to cook! Karen often shares her recipes with me and this homemade pizza is one of her latest.  She texted me the pics of her pizza with directions and I knew immediately I wanted to try it. 

She said she was still experimenting with cooking temps and times, but I read that the trick to cooking pizza at home is to get the oven very hot (500 degrees) and heat the pizza stone (I used a baking sheet) to very hot as well by preheating it in the oven for at least 30 minutes.  I did that with this thin-crust pizza and baked it for about 12 minutes.  It turned out so good!  


I think the thing that intimidated me before about making pizza at home is the crust.  But Karen recommending buying frozen premade crust and just rolling it out.  


I bought my dough at Whole Foods, but I know they sell it elsewhere.  My package comes with two frozen dough balls that you thaw in the fridge for a day or on the counter for about an hour or so.  I rolled the dough with olive oil so it wouldn't stick. 



This is a pesto pizza with spinach, mushrooms, red pepper, mozzarella, a little feta and a couple cloves of garlic.  I steamed the spinach on the stove, then made sure to squeeze any excess water out.


Mix the prepared pesto with a couple drops of olive oil so it spreads easily onto the rolled dough. 


Then top with all the ingredients.  


Like I mentioned above, I preheated the oven and cookie sheet for about 30 minutes at 500 degrees.  The pizza baked for about12 minutes. 


I will definitely be making this again.  It will be fun to experiment with different variations of ingredients too. 


Do you make pizza at home?  What are your favorite toppings?

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6 comments:

  1. Looks delicious. We make homemade pizza all the time (even gluten free). And yes, using a pizza stone and preheating it makes all the difference. We also cut out a circle of parchment paper to roll our dough on and just place it on top of the stone then bake. The crust turns out perfect every time. Be sure to read the dough instructions...some need to bake for a few minutes PRIOR to putting the toppings on. FYI, if you didn't already know...Whole Foods sells fresh dough as well, just ask for it where they make the in store pizzas. We love mixing up all the different toppings. I made a white pizza tonight for myself since I can't have tomatoes. It was super yummy and simple.

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  2. My husband used to make pizza with his bread machine all the time until it broke. Since then, we have tried to become healthy eaters. I love Russo's Chicken Pesto chicken pizza so this would be great. I found a recipe a couple a weeks ago that we are trying for dinner tomorrow night which is roasted garlic chicken. I'm crossing my fingers that it will turn out. Thanks for the recipe!!

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  3. YUM! This looks delicious! I love veggies on my pizza with mushrooms & black olives.

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  4. This looks delicious! I usually just bake my pizza at 425 degrees. Will have to try this method next time.

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  5. Looks great Megan! Every Friday night is homemade pizza night at our house. While sometimes we invite friends (we've taught friends' kids how to make it too!), it's usually just our family relaxing. I buy a pre-made gluten-free crust mix (I can't have gluten), and always bake the crust for about 10 minutes before I add the toppings - it gets the crust nice and crispy on the edges and bottom. I use a pizza pan that has holes on the bottom. If it's not raining like it was yesterday, the second half of baking is on the grill. There is nothing like grilled pizza - it totally takes me back to visits to Italy! :-D
    Side note for anyone buying pre-made crust - before I found out I was GF, I would often buy pizza dough from chain stores - Dominoes, etc. I think I might have paid $1-2 for a large one. I've also made it from scratch - flour... etc, but haven't in a while. Pre-made mix is just simpler.
    ~Laura

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  6. This looks delicious! I need to make it!

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