Pesto Pizza Recipe

Our CSA has provided us with a lot of Swiss chard and promises there’s plenty more to come. Because Swiss chard is not something I have a lot of experience cooking with or eating, I’m using the bulk of mine to make something I do have a lot of experience with: pesto.

Swiss chard pesto

3 tablespoons minced garlic (more or less to taste)
3 cup chopped Swiss chard leaves (about 6-8 leaves)
3/4 cup dry roasted almonds
1 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (more or less to taste and desired consistency)

- lightly roast almonds in oven to release flavor
– remove stems; coarsely chop Swiss chard
– add garlic, Swiss chard, almonds, cheese and salt to the bowl of a food processor; process to desired consistency. While running, drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream down the shoot and into the food processor.

This will keep fresh in the fridge for a few days. Or freeze it so you’ll have access to it well into the winter. Remember that when you expose it to air, the bright green will turn dark. It’s still fresh; just not as pretty.

The most common thing you can do with pesto is spoon it onto hot, cooked pasta and stir until combined. Also consider using it as a sandwich spread, a dip or as a primary ingredient on pesto pizza.

There are any number of pre-made pizza crusts in grocery stores. I have yet to find one that doesn’t resemble cardboard in texture and taste. If you can recommend an insta-crust that’s truly great, I’ll give it a try. Until then, I’m going to stick with Martha‘s basic grilled pizza dough recipe:

Basic Grilled Pizza Dough
(makes one pound dough or four 10-inch pizzas)

1 teaspoon sugar
1 packet (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 1/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

-Pour 1 cup warm water into a medium bowl; add sugar and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.
-Whisk oil and 1 teaspoon salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until liquid is incorporated (dough will appear dry). Turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together in an elastic ball, 2 minutes. Transfer to an oiled medium bowl; brush lightly with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; set in a warm,draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, 45 minutes. Punch down dough and cover; let rise another 30 minutes.
– Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. (To store, refrigerate dough pieces, covered, up to 2 days, or freeze, up to 1 month.) Let rest 15 minutes before using.

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