The good news about this dinner is you can make it all from scratch, or make the dough from scratch but use purchased pesto, or make the pesto and buy the dough. You don't even need summer-quality tomatoes--a box of Romas will work fine. (My recipe for pesto can be found right here--I usually make several batches in the summer and freeze about a dozen little containers which last me through the winter.)
If you possibly can, go ahead and make your own pizza dough. The recipe from THE JOY OF COOKING is very good and
really not that hard. In fact, I find the kneading part therapeutic:). You’ll just need to plan ahead a couple of hours to let it rise. (And it makes dough for two pizzas, one of which you can freeze
for another day.) Lately I've been substituting 1/3 white whole wheat flour for the white--this gives the crust a little bit of a nutty flavor. Or you can buy premade dough from a pizza joint–definitely a step up from Boboli!
1 pizza crust, unbaked
1 batch pesto
6 to 8 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
Oil your pizza pan (or cookie sheet if you don't have one)
On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough with a floured rolling pin until it's roughly the right size. Drape the dough over the pin and transfer to the oiled pan. Shape the edges so the filling doesn't run out and make little impressions in the dough with your fingers. Let this rest about ten minutes, then...
Spread the pesto onto the dough (works better if it's at room temperature.)
Place the cheese and tomatoes on the dough in an artful way:).
Bake in a 475 degree oven for about 12 minutes until the crust is browning and the cheese melted.
Serve with a green salad and enjoy your taste of summer!
Now back to Christmas shopping...don't forget that culinary mysteries are the perfect size for stocking stuffers:)...
You can learn more about Lucy Burdette and her Key West food critic mysteries at her website or on Facebook or Twitter.