Cilantro Pesto Pizza
I had this little combo at a tapas joint in Victoria, British Columbia. I’ve never made pesto, so I decided to try it with my favorite herb ever, cilantro. You can top it with other things too (Feta? Tomatoes?) but I loved the combo of apples and walnuts, especially with the lime to give it that Latin flair. This recipe makes two 12-inch pizzas, so you can experiment with different toppings. One other note: Make sure you get good parmesan, since it tends to out-flavor a lot of other things in the pesto.
I made it with my classic pizza dough recipe, though I used Hodgson Mill’s 50/50 Flour that’s half whole wheat and half white flour, ideal when you want just a little wheatiness.
1 cup of warm water
2½ tsp Active dry yeast (1 package)
2½ to 3 cups Flour
2 tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp Salt
In the food processor, using the blade, place 1½ cups of the flour, water, and yeast and mix. Add the oil, salt, and remaining flour (a little at a time–you may not need it all) and mix.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled 2-quart bowl (i.e. spray with Pam) and cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise until it doubles in size, usually about an hour.
Meanwhile, start making the toppings.
1 bunch Cilantro leaves
¼ cup Parsley leaves
2 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp Pine Nuts
1/8 cup Parmesan, grated
½ cup Olive Oil
Juice of half of a Lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
1 Granny Smith Apple, sliced thinly –OR- 1 Roma Tomato, sliced
8 oz. Smoked Mozzarella, shredded
½ cup Walnuts, crumbled
After dough has risen, divide it into two parts, cover and let rest again for 15 minutes. Roll out the two balls on a cookie sheet or pizza stone, topping each with half of the pesto, mozzarella, apple slices, and walnuts.
Bake at 500* for 10-15 minutes, until it’s golden brown. Let sit for a few minutes, squeeze with lime juice, and serve.
Serves about four people.
My friend Cynthia made these amazing calzones for my birthday picnic at Vail this year…I’ve never been able to make a good pizza dough, so I was excited to get her recipe.