Freckles in April: Recipe: Pesto Pizza

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Recipe: Pesto Pizza

Yes, that is a Magic Bullet. And we love it.

If and when I finally get around to planting myself a little garden basil will be the very first thing I plant. That stuff is freaking expensive and between basil balsamic chicken and the occasional pesto sauce we go through a LOT of basil (a mozzarella tree would be really helpful as well, now that I'm thinking about it).

We live in the general vicinity of a couple Grimaldi's locations. We had heard good things about their pizza but had never been since the closest one is like 25 minutes away. Then my in-laws introduced us a few weeks ago and a love affair began. I am particularly enamored of their pesto pizza. That stuff is gooood.

Since we are cheap and too lazy to drive that far I decided one night to try and make pesto pizza at home. The results have been a perfectly acceptable replacement and we find ourselves falling in love with homemade pizza all over again.

Edit 1/29/11: We went to Grimaldi's last night and, as it turns out, we like my pesto pizza better. Boo-ya.

Adapted slightly from here

I make my pizza dough in the bread maker. If you are bread maker-less go to the original recipe and read her instructions for making it by hand.

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

 Pour the warm water, olive oil and salt into your breadmaker. Add the flours. Make a well and add the yeast. Turn on dough cycle.


2/3 cup packed basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup parmesan
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a blender, food processor, or magic bullet (woot!). Blend.


Place a large baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450. Stretch pizza dough to desired size and thickness. Top with pesto, slices of fresh mozzarella, and a sprinkling of parmesan. Add any other desired toppings (I want to try artichoke hearts and spinach but Aaron makes gag faces when I talk like that). When the oven is done preheating, pull out the cookie sheet, dust with cornmeal, slide your pizza on and bake for 10 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is getting bubbly.


  1. I just recently discovered that I like pesto. Soo good. We just went to Grimaldi's last month and had their pesto pizza, again soo good. That pizza looks yummy.

    I also have been wanting a garden, I think it's almost the perfect time for one. I will be planting lots of cilantro maybe some basil now too.


    I just thought I'd share my whole wheat pizza crust recipe. It's really simple and easy.

    1.5 cups of white wheat flour (I assume you could use red, but I haven't ever done it)*
    1 tsp. salt, sugar, and yeast
    2/3 c. water

    Mix together, let rise for 30-60 min. Punch down, let rise for 15 min. form into pizza crust, rise for 10 min. bake for 5 min. before adding toppings.

    This is just about the only crust we make anymore. It's easy, good for you, and yummy. What more could you ask for?

    *I've found that if you scoop the flour into the measuring cup and level with a knife you'll get more of a thin crust dough. If you scoop the measuring cup into the flour and fill it that way, you'll get a more chewy/thick crust which I prefer (plus it's easier to measure!) Make sense? Ask if you have questions. Enjoy!

  3. Oh, I forgot to say, after you've mixed together the crust, put it into a small bowl with about 1 T. of olive oil to rise. I usually put the small bowl in my microwave so it's warm.

  4. Oh my, I love basil so much. Pizza is on our menu this week too and I have some pesto in the freezer. Maybe I'll give it a go on half of one of the pizzas. (I'm not optimistic that the rest of the family will love it!) Also, I have found the same thing about homemade crust and trying to do whole wheat... maybe I'll try the recipe in the comments. I really love the one I use though.

  5. i love pesto! and basil. mmm.

    also i think grimaldi's is overrated. i know i'm in the minority on this, but i just don't think it's that good. and i looove pizza.

  6. o this looks SO gooood. I heart basil. My husband isn't the biggest fan which is a huge shame. I made wheat crust the other night and my husband should be remembered as both a martyr and a liar because it was so gross and he ate it up and said it was tasty.


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