I received a post from The Pioneer Woman Cooks on tomato bruschetta that inspired me to create a similar dish for our dinner last Friday night. I saw a picture of the very same little cherry tomatoes on her counter that were sitting on mine. She chose to use her tomatoes to make bruschetta. I chose to use mine for a fresh tomato pesto pizza.
|Sweet basil, robust garlic, tender tomatoes, ooey gooey cheese. . . .yum|
The result? A light dinner that was perfect for our on the go sports night between basketball practice and gymnastics team practice for the two big girls. It was like a taste of summer in the depth of the January cold. The best parts? It cost under $3, came together in about 20 minutes, and everyone ate it without complaining!
My mom had a big harvest of fresh basil this past fall and she brought down a huge bunch of it when they came to visit in October. It was way too much to use up fresh, so we did the next best thing. We whipped up a batch of pesto with some olive oil, parmesan cheese, and garlic. Then we divided up the pesto into smaller freezer containers so we could enjoy that fresh made taste throughout the year. I'd need about 1/2 cup to make the base for our pizza.
Here's the other ingredients gathered on the counter, ready for recipe creation. (I forgot to put the pesto container on the counter before taking the picture.)
I chose to make my own pizza crust this time, but you could use a premade crust, a refrigerated roll out pizza crust, a loaf of frozen bread dough, or even tortillas or pita breads. Over the years, I've used all of these for pizza crusts depending what I had on hand or what I could get for very low cost using store specials and/or coupons. I also chose to use a mix of white and wheat flour this time in the crust and the results were quite good.
After you have your crust rolled out on the pan, spread a thin layer of pesto over the top. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and pepper to bring out the flavors. Layer on your sliced tomatoes, top with cheese, and you're ready to go. (You could also add chicken; we just didn't have any leftover because the kids ate so much of the shredded chicken earlier in the week!)
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand a few minutes before cutting. Serve with a plate that is 2/3 full of fruits and vegetables for a well balanced meal.