Friday, August 7, 2009

Pizza with Pizzazz - Pesto Pizza with Artichoke, Mushroom & Garlic Stuffed Green Olives

Just in case no one has noticed, from the myriad posts preceding this one, such as:

Eggs-periencing Divinity - Pizza alla Eggs Benedict
Of Pizza,Things and a Canceled Trip to Palm Springs
Pizza With a Peel
Move Over Bagel, Now There's Something Flatter - "Bagel and Lox" Pizza
A Plethora of Pizza
Food Forward - Roasted Potato and Pancetta Pizza
I'm so Dizzy, My Cheese is Spinnin' - Mozzarella Mania Part 3

I LUV Pizza. Not Pizza Hut, Not Domino's, Not Round Table, Not even Shakey's (Are they even around anymore?). I LUV Homemade pizza. And while I am usually a stickler for homemade crust, for you must start with a good foundation, as well as trying to use the freshest ingredients possible... right down to making my own Mozzarella and growing San Marzano Tomatoes and Basilico Nepolitano (Basil from Napels) for Pizza Margherita. I am not above using the Trader Joe's Pizza dough from the refrigerator case or using a good pesto from a jar (as long as it's made with Pine Nuts and Olive oil instead of Cashews and Canola/Soy oil).

Thus was the case this evening, for it has been a somewhat stressful and sleepless week (more on that in another post), and now it's so hot in my apartment that I am considering just setting out my pizza stone out on the counter and letting it come to room temperature for Pizza Cook-age. OK, MAYBE I am exaggerating a little bit... in all honesty, not by much. Be that as it may, I am tired of waiting to make pizza, so I am heating my stone up to 550 degrees, ther by raising the ambient temperature of my kitchen to 642 degrees... And I will enjoy my pizza, right before I have heat stroke. HA!

This whole pizza is the product of either a package, a can, or a jar, well, that is aside from the mushrooms. All items, even the Pecorino Romano, were purchased at Trader Joe's. Now I am not saying that it takes the whole jar, after all, you need to be the judge about how heavy you want your toppings. This is a very personal choice, and part of the reason that there really isn't a recipe for pizza. The inevitable fact is, though, that all these jars/packages/cans will have to be opened, so I am simply referring to them as a whole.

Pesto Pizza

1 pkg Trader Joe's Pizza Dough
1 jar Pesto Genovese
Cremini Mushrooms
optional - 1 jar Roasted Red Peppers, sliced
1 can Artichoke Hearts, drained and sliced in half
1 jar Garlic Stuffed Green Olives, drained and sliced in half, maybe in thirds
optional - 1 jar Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive oil
1 Pkg Shredded dry Mozzarella (Which I forgot to put in the picture)
Pecorino Romano, grated or shredded
Cracked Black Pepper

Divide the dough into 2 small rounds, and roll fairly thin.
Coat a peel with corn meal and lay rolled dough on top, jerk the peel to ensure the dough will slide.
Spoon on Pesto and spread to within 1/2 inch of the edge.

Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano for a base.

Add Mushrooms and the optional Roasted Red Peppers (I was out, darn it), then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella.

Lay down Artichoke halves (stems toward the center) and Olive halves,

then sprinkle with more Mozzarella and top with Pecorino Romano.

Hit it with some Cracked Black Pepper.
Slide onto a heated pizza stone coated with cornmeal and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove pizza and let sit for 5 minutes for the cheese to set.

Slice ----
and enjoy!!

I know I sure as heck did, even in the sweltering heat... The idea for this came from a skillet pasta dish I use to make using Rotini. It was such a great pasta dish; in fact, I made it for my parents during one of their visits to San Diego, and got them hooked on it. This is the first time I have combined these flavors for a pizza, but it definitely won't be the last... LOVED IT!!!!



Patti T. said...

What great combinations for pizza. I never used the artichoke hearts with stems before. One of hubby's favorite pizza topping is green olives, they really seem to go with the rest of the ingredients here. I am betting this would even be good at room temperature the next day, this not having to heat up your oven again. You really do suffer for your cooking don't you.

girlichef said...

mmmmmmm. I love pizza, too...had it for dinner last night, but alas, not homemade. Found a new hole in the wall mom & pop Italian restaurant (mom, pop & daughter working) was so great. But, yours looks better. :)

Danielle said...

YUMMY! Leave it to you to make a beautiful pizza!! I think I'm going to grill pizza tonight cuz your post reminded me that I have pizza dough in the freezer that I really should use up. I need some pesto!!

Michele said...

You love pizza and certainly know how to make them unique and beautiful! I love all the ingredients you used!

Spryte said...

I love pizza... yours always look amazing!