Pizzas are one of the easiest food to make in the kitchen, only when you are not making the crust from scratch hehe (ok, one day I shall learn to make my own pizza base). As usual, I cheated with ready-made pizza bases. Since the bulk of the work is taken away with my cheat, I get to experiment with different kinds of pizza sauce and toppings. One of my favourite home creations is a pesto pizza, where freshly made pesto is used as the pizza sauce instead of the usual tomato-based sauce. I topped it with grilled eggplants, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and basil. The result is a yummy vegetarian pesto pizza, definitely a welcome and refreshing change from the usual.
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Pesto Pizza Recipe
- Serves: makes 2 personal-size (9 inch/23 cm) pizzas
- Prep: 20 mins
- Cook: 13 mins
Besides the usual ready-made pizza crust, you can use all types of breads (such as flat bread, tortilla and pita bread) as the pizza base.
- 2 personal size (9cm/23cm) ready-made pizza base such as pizza crust, pita bread, tortilla etc
- 60 grams sweet basil leaves
- 40 grams toasted pine tnuts reserve one tsp for topping pizza
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
- 60 grams grated parmesan cheese
- 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- a few basil leaves for topping
- 8-10 slices eggplant (brinjal or aubergine) sliced to roughly 1.5 cm thickness
- 6 button mushrooms stalks trimmed and sliced thickly
- 6 cherry tomatoes halved
- a small handful shredded cheese of your choice for topping the pizza
- To make fresh pesto, blend basil, parsley, nuts, garlic and cheese until well combined. With the blender motor still running, gradually pour in extra virgin olive oil to achieve a thick, smooth consistency. If the pesto becomes too thick, add more oil. You can also use a mortar and pestle to pound the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, or more cheese to taste.
- Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sit eggplants and mushrooms on a wire rack and grill for about 5 minutes, or until they start to brown.
- Spread home-made pesto evenly over the pizza crust using the back of a spoon. Tip: start from the outside so that you won’t neglect the outer edges.
- Arrange grilled eggplants, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes over the pizza and top with shredded cheese of your choice.
- Bake the pizza at preheated oven of 200°C for about 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the eggplants brown further. Scatter remaining pine nuts and a few basil leaves over the cooked pizza.
(Get more photos, cooking notes and ingredients list on page 2)
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