Spinach Basil Pesto Pizza

Yesterday was a crazy day.  Long to do list.  Lots of time in the kitchen, running around, making people be my guinea pigs.  It was great.  I was tired at the end of the day, but it was the good kind of tired.  I don’t know if I would have felt so wonderfully about the day had my cooking experiments gone awry, but luckily for us they were a total success!DSC_1578Before we get into those adventures, I want to say thank you to all those who checked out the Pumpkin Butter post yesterday and all those who came over here from Kate’s site.  It is always nice to expand our audience a little.  I’m excited to be doing another little joint project in December.  I will let you know when it is posted!  (It will be closer to the holidays.)DSC_1629DSC_1650So… back to kitchen adventures.  As promised I have made another pizza.  We brought dinner over to some friends (so I could expand my guinea pig horizons).  I made the Tuscan Grilled Chicken Pizza that we had last time and then we branched out with a new flavor as well.  This time I made a pesto pizza…. Mmm pesto. DSC_1645The crust was basically the same as last time, except I used basil instead of rosemary so the pesto and crust could match.  To make the pesto I threw everything into my blender and let in run several times until everything was well blended.  It did take a few more attempts than I anticipated.  I think if I were to make a double batch it would be easier in the blender.  Next time I want to try it in a food processor and see if it is faster that way.DSC_1651The toppings were simple.  I roasted some mushrooms and tomatoes until they were almost done and then set them aside.  You can switch up the vegetables or add in a few more if you would like.  I kept the toppings simple to really highlight the pesto:-) I added chicken to the pizza a well, but again I kept it simple.  I seasoned it with salt and lemon peppers and baked it in the oven until the chicken was just cooked.DSC_1659As good as the Tuscan Pizza is, the Pesto Pizza stole the stage last night.  It was another restaurant experience at home!  (Those are my favorite kind of evenings.)  There was one other experiment yesterday… of the pumpkin pie variety.  All I will tell you is that when I asked my husband if I should make any changes… he said no.  Probably the biggest compliment he could give me.  As for the rest… well it will make its big debut next week:-)DSC_1664

Basil Garlic Pizza Crust (GF)

2 C gluten free mix 1

1 ½ t xanthan gum

2 t yeast

½ t salt

1 t baking powder

2 T olive oil

1 t agave

¾ C warm water

½ t minced garlic

8-10 basil leaves, roughly chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 450-500 F (depending on altitude).  Mix all ingredients together and place dough into a lightly oiled pan (I used a pie pan).
  2. Using your hands push dough down to form the crust against the bottom and edges of your pan.  Precook in the oven for 7 minutes; set aside until sauce and toppings are ready.

Spinach Basil Pesto

1 C spinach

1 C basil leaves

½ C pine nuts

1 t garlic, minced

¼ C olive oil

¼ t salt

A pinch or two of pepper

  1. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and blend or process until all ingredients are mixed together.  This might take multiple blendings.  Be patient. Keep mixing.

Spinach Basil Pesto Pizza

Basil garlic pizza crust

Spinach basil pesto

Mozzarella cheese (optional)

1 tomato, diced

2-4 oz mushrooms, sliced

2 chicken breasts or thighs *

  1. Thaw chicken, if needed.  Roast mushrooms and tomatoes until almost done.  Add in more vegetables if you would like.
  2. Cook chicken any way desired.  I baked mine in the oven, wrapped in tinfoil at 350 F, seasoned with salt and lemon pepper.
  3. Cut chicken into small pieces.  Once all your ingredients are ready, assemble pizza: crust, pesto, cheese, toppings.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

*The chicken and cheese are optional if you want to make this a vegan or vegetarian pizza.  If you remove the chicken I would add in more vegetables or maybe even some garbanzo beans to add in protein.

It has been a wonderful week!  Thank you for all your continued support!  Enjoy your weekend and we will be back next week getting ready for Thanksgiving!

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