Monday, March 7, 2011

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pizza- cause birds don't like tomatoes.

Mardi Gras completely snuck up on me. I've always wanted to make a King Cake, but this year will not be that year. Oh well.

I made a pizza last week. Someone told me it didn't qualify as a pizza because it didn't have tomato sauce. This spawned a debate over whether or not white pizzas are actually pizza, which I think is totally ridiculous. What is the 'technical' definition of pizza? A lot of things can be considered pizza. Where do you draw the line?

But, regardless of what my so-called friend says, this is definitely a pizza. And a delicious one at that. It actually motivates me to want to make it a third time-because I made it twice in one week!- with completely homemade dough, to see how much better it gets.

But this time, I made it with store-bought dough. I bought whole-wheat from Harris Teeter, and it was quite good. I have already found a recipe for a knock-off, so I hope to recreate it at some point. I should probably wait a few weeks, though. The second time I made this, I had to use a pre-baked pizza round, because there was no dough and I didn't have time to make my own. That pizza didn't turn out nearly as well, but it wasn't the fault of the pizza crust.

...not entirely, anyway. I have learned a lot about what a difference fresh ingredients can make in a dish.

Mama Bird is so much better at chopping onions than I am. She was not amused I was taking pictures instead of making the dinner I had promised her and Papa Bird. She also chopped the jalapeño for me, because I am so bad at knives.

The 'sauce,' and what apparently disqualifies this from being a pizza, was delicious. It was a combination of sun-dried tomato pesto, basil, oregano, butter, olive oil, and garlic. Now, I am generally a big believer of 'there is no such thing as too much garlic,' but this recipe called for three tablespoons of garlic. Some googling is telling me that this should be about 5 or 6 cloves, but when I was mincing my garlic, 4 cloves was one tablespoon, and they weren't small cloves. So I added 6 or 7 and stopped. The garlic flavor was right about where I like it, although I am now curious what it would have tasted like if I had added all of the garlic.

Next time I am definitely adding more onion. I was afraid to put too much on, forgetting it was a sweet onion. Next time, I won't hold back.

I also used baby spinach because... well, honestly, I love baby spinach. I would eat it in just about anything.

The jalapeño chunks were too small to really be seen here, but the feta on top of it was amazing. I haven't had a ton of experience with feta, so I wasn't really sure what it would taste like. I tried a few stray pieces, but couldn't decide how I thought it'd interact with all of the ingredients. So I slid it into the oven, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

The pizza dough took nearly half an hour to bake. If Mama Bird hadn't been in the kitchen guarding the oven, I would have probably eaten it half raw, because it smelled wonderful.

But it was definitely worth the wait. This pizza turned out perfectly. I omitted the sliced tomato from the cast of ingredients, because I honestly don't like tomatoes. Yes, I eat ketchup, and I am fine with tomato sauce on pizza and pasta, but I like to go light on them. And I don't care for the texture of tomato. Birds don't eat tomato. The jalapeño also had no kick, probably because we destroyed the seeds.

The second version of this pizza I made didn't turn out nearly as delicious, which disappointed me since my friends were excited for it given the description. The pre-made crust wasn't nearly as good, which was disappointing. But it was also a normal 8 inch pizza crust, as opposed to the vaguely-rectangular blob I served. It was the same amount of feta in a smaller area, and I think it was too much feta. I found it overpowering, and I don't think the guys were terribly impressed.

They don't know what pure deliciousness they missed. But you can.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pizza from Reddit
(Serves 3, approximately $5.60 per serving)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5-7 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 unbaked pizza crust
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, torn
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled

  • Preheat oven according to dough directions.
  • In small bowl combine butter, olive oil, garlic, pesto, basil, oregano, and Parmesan.
  • Spread evenly on pizza crust.
  • Arrange spinach, onion, tomato, and jalapeno on pizza. Top with crumbled feta.
  • Bake according to package directions.

    Today's lessons learned:
    • Fresh ingredients are important
    • Feta is strong

    Tonight I am making baked wonton crackers and two flavors of hummus: lemon and spicy. I'll be serving them as appetizers at a mini-dinner party on Wednesday. We'll see how it all turns out.
  • No comments:

    Post a Comment