Let's talk about pesto. Our favorite pizza ever is the Cosmic Karma pizza at Mellow Mushroom. It's this totally delicious swirl of regular pizza sauce and pesto sauce as the base, with toppings of fresh tomato, feta, and sun dried tomatoes that turn it into melty pizza bliss. I can make pesto! And you can too:
2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon zest
3/4 cup raw walnuts or pine nuts (walnuts are cheaper, my friend)
1 tsp kosher salt
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Some people like it chunkier, and that's fine. If you are into eating dairy, by all means dump at least 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese (use the good stuff, like parmigiano reggiano) into the mix. This will make it thicker, so add more olive oil as desired. Use as a topping for pizza, on fresh bread, mixed with pasta (or zucchini spaghetti) or mixed in with some ricotta and used in lasagna or eaten right of the dang spoon. I chose to paint with mine. Behold the artistry:
Finger painting for adults! Wouldn't it be so festive if I smeared some on my face before answering the door for Trick or Treaters? "Happy Halloween kiddos, from Swamp Thing's home to yers." Oops, I just lost a reader. Back to pizza construction.
I made swirls of my homemade pesto and jarred Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce from Whole Foods (because it's Halloween and I'm not trying to be Martha Stewart tonight) onto my homemade pizza crust. I made an easy spelt flour/regular flour crust that was okay but not my favorite, so I won't post the recipe this time. But you could totally make it so much easier on yourself and use a premade refrigerated crust. Please do yourself a favor and don't use one in a can. I have never been to a pizza place that wouldn't sell me a ball of their unbaked dough for super cheap. Definitely work up the courage to be a weirdo and do this. Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and many supermarkets also carry freshly made refrigerated or frozen pizza dough that is convenient, cheap and ready to go. After you've painted your sauce(s) onto your blank canvas, it's time to start decorating.
Ours was festively decorated with thinly sliced onions and fresh red peppers, olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, and local fresh goat cheese with herbs. Jeremy's side had Cabot Seriously Sharp White Cheddar, and mine had the tablespoon I had left of my Daiya shredded vegan "cheddar" which I would totally recommend in a heartbeat. I decided to let a few goat cheese crumbles mingle on my side since I am not trying to be a nazi about the whole no dairy thing. Ten minutes at 425 degrees and dinner is ready and handheld. Win!
We made short work of this pizza and totally demolished it. I gave mine a generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast and it was so good Jeremy actually put "that weird stuff on the counter" on his seconds! Why don't I make pizza more often? Happy November!