Pizzas are one of the easiest food to make in the kitchen, well only when you are not making the crust from scratch that is. Since the bulk of the work is taken away with my instant pizza base 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 my pesto pizza 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 tomato sauce pizza. If you have leftover pesto, check out my 15-minute fast and easy pesto pasta recipe.
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.
Serves:2 personal-size (9 inch/23 cm) pizzas
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:13 mins
2 personal size (9cm/23cm) ready-made pizza base such as pizza crust, pita bread, tortilla etc
8-10 slices eggplant (brinjal or aubergine) sliced to roughly 1.5 cm thickness
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil for brushing the eggplant slices
6 button mushrooms stalks trimmed and caps sliced thickly
6 cherry tomatoes halved
a small handful shredded cheese of your choice for topping the pizza
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
(A) Pesto Ingredients
60 grams sweet basil leaves
40 grams toasted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
60 grams grated parmesan cheese
125 ml extra virgin olive oil
(B) Topping Garnishing
a few basil leaves
1 tsp toasted pine nuts
To make fresh pesto, blend all the ingredients in (A) except olive oil 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 (392°F) 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.