My Dinner Recipe in Photos for the I Heart Faces Photo Challenge...
This is a favorite dinner around our house and a special treat! We were inspired by a dinner out at our favorite pizzeria and decided to try our hand at making pesto pizza at home. We simply pull out some Semolina pizza dough from the freezer, (made ahead it in the bread machine, then frozen for quick meals later on) smothered it in my homemade pesto, some freshly grated Mozzarella cheese and grilled chicken cut into strips. It is delish and actually very close to the restaurant's version, maybe even better since it was a tad less greasy. This is a garlicy-basil explosion in your mouth, wonderful!
I took some of the tons of fresh basil we have growing in our garden and made some pesto! I used walnuts for this and toasted them in the oven to give them alittle extra toasty flavor. Just spread them on a sheet pan and toast in a 350'F oven for about 8-10 minutes until fragrant and just browned, but not burned. :o)
Pulse food processor to chop nuts
Add basil and garlic and pulse again
Add Parmesan and stream in the olive oil
Pesto Recipe: (yields ~1 cup)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
3 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop then add in your basil leaves and pulse a few more times to chop the leaves. Add the garlic and pulse a couple more times.
2. Pour olive oil in slowly while the food processor is running, about 1 minute. Scrap down the sides with a spatula halfway through to be sure it all incorporated. Finally, add the cheese and pulse once or twice to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread on fresh bread, smooth over pasta, layer on sandwiches or make pesto pizza!
*I like to freeze the sauce in small-one meal portion-zip top bags, or you could freeze it in ice cube trays for easy 1-ounce measuring.
Semolina pizza dough - In the Bread Machine
Mix the following in the bread machine and run on the 'dough' cycle: Makes two 12 inch pizzas
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups All Purpose (AP) flour
1 1/2 cups Semolina durum wheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
When the dough cycle is over (~1.5hr) "cloak" the dough with AP flour and then divide into two even pieces. Shape each piece into a dome shape by folding the edges underneath. Cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes. Use immediately or place into quart size ziploc bags and refrigerate for up to 24hrs then let rest for 20 minutes on the counter, then use. Or freeze for up to 3 months, put the dough in the refrigerator the night before to defrost.
Par bake your dough! Place pizza stones in the oven and Pre-heat to 450'F. Shape the dough using plenty of AP flour until it is a uniform 12-14 inches in diameter. Cook for about 5 minutes or so until the outside has a light crust to it but it is still very soft to the touch. Constantly check for bubbles in your dough, pop with a fork. Take it out and add your pizza toppings then cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly or until the dough is to your liking (some like extra crispy crust some like soft). Enjoy.
Assembling the pizza:
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and sliced
salt & pepper to taste
1/2-3/4c up of Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Par bake your dough as described above. Spread about 1/4-1/2 cup of pesto sauce all over dough. Lay out your sliced grilled chicken strips evenly. Top with shredded Mozzarella cheese and finish in the oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown. Add your family's favorite and have fun with your toppings!