It’s hard to think about celebrating Labor Day or any holiday without food being a major contributor to the enjoyment. This years Labor Day menu was extensive, but some of the highlights were: Rigatoni with fresh tomatoes and basil, Pesto Pizza with Goat Cheese and Bufala Mozzarella and Organic Coconut Cake and Espresso Cream Pie.
Everything was so good, but one of the most popular dishes, was my Pesto Pizza with Goat Cheese and Bufala Mozzarella. Making pizza can be so much fun! Especially the eating part! Since so many requested my recipe for Pesto Pizza, I’d like to share it with you!
Admittedly, pizza is obviously not something you want to eat on a regular basis, but on occasion, it is rewarding and fun.
Note: Trader Joe’s carries fresh pizza dough in their deli section that is pretty good, so there’s really no need to make your own dough, unless you really want to. Leave the dough out for about an hour or more before kneading it.
FOR THE PESTO:
Place in Food Processor
1 container Trader Joe’s fresh basil (large bulk) Save out 6 leaves
6 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bag or 3/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch of black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
Blend together until fully pureed. Set aside.
FOR THE PIZZA:
1 package Trader Joe’s plain pizza dough
1 carton fresh Bufala mozzarella cheese (2 large balls)
1 small log goat cheese
1 small container crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup romano or parmesan cheese
1 large, ripe heirloom tomato
6 thinly sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
pinch black pepper
Salt may not be necessary because of the pesto and the romano cheese
LET’S DO THIS!
Take the dough, knead it and roll it out thin. Either use a large pizza pan (with holes is the best), or a cookie sheet with rims. Spray the bottom with olive oil spray, and place the dough on the pan, pinching up the edges.
Gently rub or drizzle olive oil on the dough. Take the pesto and put it on with a spatula, lightly covering the dough, and make sure it’s spread evenly.
Take the goat cheese log and bufala mozzarella and slice the cheeses medium thickness. Evenly spread them around the pizza.
Take the tomato and THINLY slice it, spreading the slices evenly around the pizza. Do the same with the mushrooms.
Sprinkle the goat cheese from the carton over the top, along with 1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese. Sprinkle the seasonings and black pepper on top. Chop the 6 basil leaves and even spread it around the pizza.
Bake in a hot 400-450 oven until the crust has browned and the top is sizzling.
Remove, cool 10 minutes and then cut into slices. This pizza is terrific with a good white wine and a side of salad.
Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: