Red Bell Pepper Pesto Pizza Bites....FUN* FUN* FUN!
Our next recipe in the Food Matters Project was Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut "Pesto". My first idea was to put in on pasta. I ran some ideas by Hubby and when I said pizza he said "YES!".
I made pizza dough from scratch maybe....30 years ago :( and I still remember how much work it was for a "pizza". Pizza was what you ordered when you didn't feel like cooking. I never did that again.
When we decided that we would make pizza dough from scratch I remembered that I had a pizza stone somewhere. HUH???? I think it must have been for take and bake pizzas or to reheat cold pizza (although I usually eat the leftovers in the middle of the night...cold. Doesn't everyone??).
First I made this beautiful bowl of Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto.
I roasted my red peppers on the gas cook top.
Turning them until they had a nice char.
I put them in a bowl and covered the bowl with plastic wrap. When they were cool, I removed the charred skin. I started out by using a paper towel to help remove the skin and save the flavor but I got impatient and ended up running them under cold water. The next step was to remove the seeds and stems.
I pulsed the garlic in the food processor and then the walnuts. When it was roughly chopped I added the red bell peppers, basil, and some olive oil.
That's it, with the addition of some salt and pepper it was ready to go.
Enter the pizza crust.
The pizza dough was a bit of a challenge for us virgin pizza makers and I didn't even make it from scratch as planned. The already made whole wheat dough at Trader Joe's was just too hard to resist. This was where the fun began. I heard Ron laughing. "Is this a trick?" I looked over and started laughing too. Every time he would roll it out into a nice circle, as soon as he stopped rolling it would bounce back to it's original size. Hmm...I suggested we try pulling it by hand or even throw it up in the air like they do at the Pizza Palace. That was comical :) Well, we need to work on our dough skills but we did end up with this.
We spread it with the Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto.
Mark Bittman suggested adding goat cheese as an option in the pesto.We thought it sounded like a good combo so we put some rounds on one half of the pizza and mozzarella on the other side. After 15 minutes in the oven we added some fresh basil.
Success! The pesto was wonderful as a base and the goat cheese rocked. We liked the fact that it did not melt completely. It made the most delicious bites. We cut it into squares so we could showcase the goat cheese. Oh...the mozzarella, it was a little boring...needs the goat cheese.
This was really fun to make. I can't wait to use the leftover pesto in other ways. You can find all kinds of creative ideas on how to use this pesto over on the The Food Matters Project. The Pesto recipe is on Heather's Blog who was our host for the week.