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LivingFood and DrinkMediterranean Pesto Pizza

Mediterranean Pesto Pizza

This delicious pizza from Evergreen Kitchen combines the traditional flavours of tomato sauce and oregano with red pepper, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and feta cheese. Serve the pizza garnished with arugula, pesto, Parmesan and hot pepper flakes. Cook’s note: I used green olives instead of Kalamata and omitted the pesto.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make your own pizza dough with flour, salt, water, sugar, yeast and olive oil or check store-bought dough for additives or preservatives. I used Unico pizza sauce, which is additive free. Check the dried oregano and hot pepper flakes for colour and anti-caking agents. I used No Name pizza mozzarella, President’s Choice garlic-stuffed olives, Aurora sun-dried tomatoes, Unico capers, Tre Stelle feta and No Name pine nuts. Genuine Parmesan (look for the name stamped on the rind) is additive free. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

Pizza

  • 1 lb (454 g) home-made or store-bought pizza dough
  • 1 to 2 tbsp (15-30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (125 ml) pizza sauce
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) dried oregano
  • 2 cups (500 ml) shredded mozzarella
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (¼ cup/60 ml)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) drained and minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) drained capers
  • ½ cup (125 ml) crumbled feta cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Garnish

  • 2 cups (500 ml) lightly packed arugula
  • Pesto, home-made (recipe below) or store-bought
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes

Pesto

  • 2 cups (500 ml) fresh basil, packed
  • ½ cup (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) pine nuts
  • ¾ cups (180 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Preparation:

Pesto

Whirl basil cheese pine nuts and garlic in food processor. Add oil in thin stream while processor is running.

Pizza

Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 475 F (240 C). Set aside two large baking sheets.

Cut the pizza dough into two equal portions. Loosely cover one portion of dough with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out. On a lightly floured work surface using your hands or a rolling pin, stretch or roll one portion of dough into an 8-inch (20 cm) circle. Transfer it to one of the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough and transfer it to the second baking sheet.

Lightly brush the olive oil over the stretched dough. Evenly divide and spread the pizza sauce over each pizza leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border around the edge, then sprinkle with the oregano. Over each pizza, spread ½ cup (125 ml) of the mozzarella over the pizza sauce. Sprinkle each pizza evenly with the shallot, bell pepper, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Sprinkle each pizza with ½ cup (125 ml) of the remaining mozzarella. Divide the feta between the pizzas and season generously with black pepper.

Bake the pizzas, one at a time, until the crust is golden brown on the bottom and the cheese is melted, 10 to 14 minutes. Top with the arugula, drizzle with pesto and sprinkle with Parmesan and red pepper flakes, if using. Makes two 8-inch (20-cm) pizzas.

From Evergreen Kitchen

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