ChefUptothePlate

Food, Nutrition and Cooking


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The Pesto Pizza Variations

Pesto Pizza

This makes a delicious appetizer or a meal depending upon any additions you top it with. It’s so easy, it’s almost embarrassing, but oh, so special. You can do this without a pizza stone but using one is highly recommended.

1 pizza dough, uncooked (usually available in grocery stores in the dairy section or the pizza section of larger stores OR some pizzerias will sell you one- failing that check the freezer section of the grocery store).

4 T shredded or grated Parmigiano Reggianno or Grana Padano cheese

1.5-2 cups prepared pesto (see my prior post)

8 oz mozzarella cheese (or soy mozzarella), shredded

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a pizza stone (or cookie sheet if you must) with cooking spray. Stretch dough to fill stone.

Poke multiple holes in dough to help reduce the dough from puffing up. Sprinkle Parm on top of dough and bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to be sure cheese is not burning.

Remove dough from oven, spread pesto on pizza, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake another 10 minutes.

Serve HOT!

Variations: Add a defrosted and drained 10 oz box of chopped spinach between pesto and mozzarella.

Add some sliced and cooked sausage or chicken or anything your imagination and taste buds like. Cook as above.

Serves 3-4 as a main meal, 8-10 as an appetizer.

 


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Pizza rustica con finocchi, porri, funghi e oliva

Rustic Whole Wheat Pizza

1 – 15 oz pre-made whole wheat pizza dough* at room temperature

3 leeks (white part only), finely chopped (~ 1 cup)
1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped (~1/2-3/4 cup)- save frond for garnish
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
2 oz shredded or grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 oz farmer cheese
2 T olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 T chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a pizza stone with light coating of olive oil cooking spray (or a baking sheet, lined with parchment, lightly sprayed).
Stretch pizza dough to ~ 12″ diameter circle and layout on stone.

In a large skillet heat 1 T olive oil to medium-high heat (use cooking spray if you prefer) and saute leeks and fennel until they start to wilt. Add mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring as needed, until the mushrooms have given up all their liquid and have begun to caramelize. Remove from heat.
Add cheese, olives and thyme and stir to combine.
Spread mixture to within 2″ from edge of dough. Fold uncovered dough over ~2″ of filling (most of the pizza will be left open on top). Paint edges of dough with remaining olive oil.
Bake 20-25 minutes (check at 20 minutes, as ovens vary be sure edges of dough are not burning).
*many grocery stores have bins of fresh pizza dough in the dairy section near the mozzarella cheese. White flour dough may be substituted and of course feel free to make your own dough.

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer and 2-4 as an entree


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Get into the Zone

Spinach and Cottage Cheese Calzones  

serves 4

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

1 uncooked pizza dough (available in many supermarkets in the dairy section)

1 10 oz package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

1 lb. 1% fat cottage cheese, strained to remove any excess liquid (whey)

black pepper to taste

olive oil

1-2 T sesame seeds

 

Divide pizza dough into 8 ~ equal pieces. Flatten each piece into an oval about 4″ x 3″. Place 4 of the dough pieces on a lightly oiled pizza stone or cookie sheet.

Combine spinach, cottage cheese and pepper. Divide equally among the 4 ovals, leaving a 1/4 edge. Top each calzone with a remaining dough oval and seal edges by pressing together. With a pastry brush paint a light layer of olive oil on top of dough and sprinkle with sesame seeds and a small amount of salt if desired. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking after 20 minutes. 

Calzones are ready when the dough is golden brown.  Serve hot.