Friday, July 6, 2012

Food on Friday: Super simple weeknight dinner

A few weeks ago a dear friend of mine called me and asked if I liked basil.  Like basil? I thought.  Who doesn't.  Later that night, I walked home from a drink with her with a Ziplock filled with fresh basil in my purse.  I knew immediately what I should do with it...Homemade pesto.

Thinking that it would be difficult, one Sunday I tried my hand at homemade pesto for the first time.  It took maybe 5 minutes and turned out to be a breeze.  The result was delicious and incredibly fresh.  It was completely different from all other pestos I have ever had--mostly from jars--because I could actually taste each of the individual ingredients.  The basil, the olive oil, the pine nuts, the cheese and the garlic were all remarkably present and tasty.

My pesto sat in the fridge a few days, waiting to be used.  Finally, after a long day at work, I came up with an idea.  I wanted something yummy and relatively healthy but I wanted almost no effort.  Ergo, pesto pizza with goat's cheese, tomatoes and caramelized onions for weeknights when you are exhausted.

Really, you could put whatever you wanted on it.  Use pre-made pizza dough and it really is a meal with no more than 10-minute prep time.  I used frozen spelt dough that I bought at the organic/heath foods market on my way home from work.  What a cinch!

Here's how...

from Simply Recipes

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor (I used a hand-cranked one and remarkably it worked!). (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Weeknight pesto pizza
serves 2

1 organic, spelt pre-made  pizza dough
1/2-2/3 cup homemade pesto
1 small onion, sliced and caramelized
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, sliced
2/3 cup freshly sliced mozzarella
1/3 cup goat's cheese

Roll out pizza dough.  Spread pesto on top, layering on as much or as little as you would like.  Put on the onions and tomatoes and then both cheeses.  Bake as suggested on the dough package and enjoy with a glass of red wine.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

I wondered how easy pesto could be...good to know that it's so easy! Do you think the age of the basil leaves would affect the taste?