Nine Days of Dairy – Recipe 4 – Pesto Pizza with Carmelized Onions, Leeks and Artichoke Hearts
Ok. I have an addiction. It’s to the amazingly beautiful, amazingly cheap, amazingly fragrant basil that has been in our farmer’s market over the past three weeks. It comes on the bulb and, because I’ve kept it in water in a vase, is easily mistakable for a bouquet from a florist! I tried planting the first two bulbs, but I killed them pretty quickly (good in the kitchen, bad in the garden…even if the garden is a box of organic soil on our window sill).
And because of this addiction, we have had TONS of basil based meals over the past few weeks. We’ve had everything from pasta to chicken to sandwiches and this recipe for delicious homemade pizza crust (with my favorite kitchen gadget, the bread machine), topped with fresh pesto (which I had made earlier in the week and jarred up), yummy cheese, carmelized onions, leeks and defrosted artichoke hearts.
This meal has lots of parts, but all of them can be done in advance. You can make the pizza crust whenever you have time. The recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas and the dough freezes really well. I make up all of the pesto without the parmesan and add it in when I am making dairy (I keep it pareve otherwise so I can use it on chicken). If the crust and sauce are ready to go, then you just have to put it all together with your toppings!
1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal plus more for dusting the pizza stone
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Add wet ingredients, then dry ingredients, then yeast to bread machine and run on dough mode. This is seriously the best mode on the whole bread machine (even better than the 56 minute bread mode). I’ve used it to make challah, french bread, and now pizza crust! You can make it by hand or buy it in store, but the bread machine results are seriously awesome.
It takes about an hour for the bread dough to rise. Once it’s ready, take it out and divide it in half. Freeze half for next time! Stretch dough on preheated pizza stone (follow the directions on your stone. Leave edges thicker to hold the ingredients on and make a nice fluffy crust. Bake at 425 for 5 minutes to get crust soldified so it will hold all the yummy toppings!
I made this much earlier in the week and had it jarred and ready. I added a pureed tomato to thin it out for the pizza. I’m also not much of a measurer, so these amounts are super approximated. Also, I’m guessing how much you’ll need for the pizza since I just took it out of my jar.
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts (or pinenuts, but walnuts are much cheaper)
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
In a food processor, puree garlic. Add basil, walnuts, parmesan and salt and stream in olive oil. Adjust amounts as necessary.
Carmelize 1 small thinly sliced white onion and 1 thinly sliced leek in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margerine. Add one box of defrosted, drained, chopped artichoke hearts.
Putting Together Pizza
Spread pesto sauce over crust. Top with cheese. (Mozzarella or muenster would be yummy, but my lovely husband accidentally brought home cheddar.) Add onions, leek and artichoke hearts. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese.
Bake at 425 until browned and bubbly.
I served it with some baked sweet potato fries and it was SO delicious!