THE CORVALLIS CARROT
Grilled Pesto Pizza
1 ball of pizza dough
(Got it from MOC, I think it's 1lb of dough)
1 handful of basil (1 packed cup)
1/4 c olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 t sea salt
10 cracks of pepper
1/3 c nut flour (I used almond)
2-4 cloves garlic (2 if big, 3-4 if small)
1/4 c water
4 oz parmesan
2 oz feta
4 baby artichokes (about the size of your palm)
1 zucchini (about 1 c sliced)
10-12 cherry or sungold tomatoes
1 red bell pepper (about 1 c sliced)
1 bunch of kale (about 2 c chiffonade)
yield: 6 servings
Who says pizza has to be unhealthy? This pizza is light and refreshing and the crust is crispy and delicious. Exclude the cheese if you want to make this pizza vegan. It's one of my favorite summer dinners. Mostly because I can cook it on my grill. If you don't have a grill you can always bake it in your oven on a sheet pan or pizza stone, but grilling it is (in my opinion) the way to go. Turn your grill on high, you want it really hot when you put the dough down on top of it, and always make sure the grill is clean.
When the leaves and hearts are tender pull them out and put them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Gather together all of your ingredients. I used fresh baby artichokes, but a small can of artichoke hearts will do.
If you have access to an artichoke plant, fresh hearts are amazing. To prepare them strip off the outer leaves and cut off the tops and place in lemon water (about 2 quarts of water and 2 lemons juiced). Bring the lemon water to a boil and cook the hearts until tender, 3-5 minutes. They may turn a bit brown, that's just the oxidation, it won't affect the flavor, don't worry about it. If you use canned hearts rinse off the brine well before adding to the pizza.
Baby artichokes are great because you don't have to worry about the chokes, they haven't had a chance to fully develop, so they're very tender. 1/4 the hearts.
Rinse your basil and pinch off just the leaves. The stems will make the pesto a bit bitter.
Puree until the mixture is smooth.
Add basil, nut flour, 2 oz parmesan cheese, garlic, oil, lemon juice and water to a cup that will fit your hand blender.
Prepare the veggies for the pizza. I like to slice things pretty thin for this pizza because they don't cook for very long.
Divide the kale in half and add one half to the pesto, the other half will be for topping the pizza. I like to "hide" greens like kale in pesto, toddlers are more likely to eat it if they think it's a tasty sauce instead of a leafy green.
Puree again until smooth.
I like to quarter the tomatoes, but you could also just cut them in half. If you don't have smaller tomatoes, you can always just slice bigger ones, but I like the sweetness of these tomatoes on this pizza.
Time to get your dough ready now. Lightly flour a cutting board and press into a rectangle. Sprinkle a little flour on top. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to be the size of a sheet pan.
If the dough is pulling back and not holding the shape of a rectangle just let it sit for a while (a couple of minutes) to let the dough relax. Then continue to roll.
On top of the dough add 1 T of oil, just to insure the dough won't stick to the grill. Rub it in and then flip the dough and repeat on the bottom, so both sides are oiled.
The grill will be nice and hot now. Time to add the dough. You want to get it on the grill as straight as possible. You can either roll the dough up onto your rolling pin and roll onto the grill, or just pick it up by one side and place onto it. Either way, be careful not to burn yourself.
Once the dough is on the grill, shut the lid and set a timer for 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes the dough will have begun to bubble. Using tongs, pick up the pizza and flip to cook the other side.
Cook for another 2 minutes. Then pull the dough out to load it with sauce and veggies.
I only used 1/2 of the avocado, you can use the whole thing though if it's small.
Below is a slideshow of adding the toppings. Feel free to just pile things on though.
Once the pizza is fully loaded put it back on the grill. Turn heat down to the lowest flame to make sure you don't burn the crust.
Set timer for 6 minutes. Put lid back down. You want to create an oven setting, and having the lid open won't let it heat up enough.
After the 6 minutes, if you notice the bottom of your pizza cooking faster than the toppings move the pizza to one side of the grill and turn the flames off right below it. Here I have only the 2 right burners on, the heat from the burners will cook the pizza without burning it. After a couple of minutes, rotate the pizza to evenly cook.
When the cheese is melted you can pull the pizza off of the grill and transfer onto a cutting board.
Seriously, this crust is amazing!
There it is, healthy pizza. (Don't get me wrong, unhealthy pizza is amazing too!) Enjoy!