Red Pepper Pesto Pizza

Ok, this red pepper pesto is so good!

I used it in place of sauce on a pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, carmelized onions, and spinach. It was really great on the pizza but has also added tons of flavor to a turkey and cheese sandwich and, this morning, to a breakfast sandwich with a fried egg and cheddar cheese. I know I could even eat it with some pita chips as a dip. Scrumptious!

So, I recommend making this pizza, but more than that I recommend making this flavorful pesto. The sweetness of the roasted peppers really stands out. I also used almonds instead of the traditional pine nuts: much cheaper with the same nutty richness.

Oh, and you can top your pizza with some toasted pine nuts, but be careful to keep an eye on them or  they’ll end up looking like this:

You could always add some sort of meat to this pizza to make it more husband friendly-prosciutto would be really yummy or a spicy sausage.

Ingredients for pizza:  

1 batch of your favorite pizza crust (I actually just followed the recipe on the back of the instant pizza yeast packet, and it was really good!)

1 big handful of spinach

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 tablespoon butter

10-12 mini fresh mozzarella balls, cut in half

3/4 cup red pepper pesto (add more if you need it, spread it thickly!)

Ingredients for pesto: 

2 red bell peppers

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more to add as needed

2 cloves of garlic, papery outside removed

1/2 cup toasted almonds

salt & pepper to taste

To make: 

First make the pesto. Cut off the tops of red pepper, removing the meat from the top, remove the white insides and seeds. Put peppers on a baking sheet, cover with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Broil almonds in oven or toaster oven on a foil lined baking sheet for 2-4 minutes, watch closely, these burn easily! Put roasted peppers in food processor and combine with parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add olive oil to get the consistency you want. I liked mine thicker so I didn’t add more than 3 tablespoons. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Add one tablespoon of butter to a pan on medium heat. Add chopped red onion and allow to cook for 5 minutes until they are soft and translucent with a little brown.

Spread pesto on your rolled out pizza crust. Top with halved mozzarella balls, carmelized onions, and spinach.

 

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Mexican pizza

We’re at the lake with my side of the family having an absolutely wonderful time. Laughing a lot, skiing, tubing, wake boarding, playing games, and, of course: eating.

We’ve eaten well on this vacation and among other things, we really enjoyed this Mexican pizza. Matthew and I have been on a pizza kick lately-check out my Greek pizza and my Summertime grilled chicken pizza.

The chorizo in this Mexican version has so much flavor and seasoning, that you don’t need to add any to it. The combo of sweet and savory in this pizza is perfect.

Start with some fresh bright red pepper.

Roast pepper to get that beautiful sweet taste and blackened skin.

Mmmmmm…….

Saute your ground chorizo. (Not the most appetizing picture, but, trust me, it tastes incredible.)

Saute some onion until it gets that delicious clear color with brown edges.

You need some cheese. I used shredded “Mexcian Cheese” which was a combo of queso quesadilla & manchego. But it really just tasted like mozzarella, so I’d go with that.

You need a crust and you need sauce, store bought is great, or try my simple pizza sauce.

Cover the crust liberally with sauce, leaving a little room for crust. Then add lots of cheese.

Now top your pizza with the sauteed onions, sliced roasted red peppers, and chorizo. Sprinkle more cheese on top because you can never have too much cheese.

Bake the pizza.

Cut a slice and enjoy the salty flavor of the chorizo with the savory sweetness of the red pepper and onion. Yum.

This recipe makes one pizza. We made three for our family of six people (three men, three women) and had leftovers. Hope you like it!

Ingredients:

1 red pepper

8-10 ounces of ground chorizo

1/2 cup of onion, diced

1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, Mexican mix or mozzarella

1 cup of pizza sauce

1 crust

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450. Cut red pepper in three pieces, removing seeds and inner white flesh. Put on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 teaspoon olive oil, roast for 20-30 minutes until the skin is black. When finished roasting, allow to cool and slice into thin strips. Dice onion and saute over medium heat with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Saute chorizo on medium high heat for 20 minutes. (Note: the chorizo does not change color when cooked like some meats, so make sure to cook it for 20 minutes on medium high. Use a meat thermometer to be extra careful if you’re doubtful.) Using a colander, drain the grease out of chorizo-do this over a trash can so the grease doesn’t go down sink. Spread pizza sauce liberally over the crust, top with majority of cheese leaving a little for the top, add onions, chorizo, and red pepper. Top with the rest of the cheese. Bake in oven at 450 for about 10 minutes until cheese has melted and is turning a golden color.