What do you consider a quintessential “summer” smell?
Some that come to mind for me are: freshly cut grass, sunscreen, swimming pool chlorine, clean laundry on the clothesline, and of course– fresh basil!
What better way to celebrate this beloved aromatic than a pesto-covered pizza?
I was lucky enough to visit Italy this past June with my family (more to come on that soon) and we had, as you can imagine, some truly exquisite meals.
My favorite pizza was in the tiny town of Volpaia; we were lucky enough to catch a pesto-potato pie right as it came out of the oven. Thinly sliced potatoes became quite crispy while bright, sunny pesto had every bite bursting with zesty flavor. It was a meal I won’t soon forget, and was eager to try my own plant-based variation at home!
There are certain elements of this meal that can really save on time. For starters, I recommend purchasing pre-madeTrader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough. For just about $1, it’s ready in a flash and there’s no kneading required! I store mine in the freezer and defrost for an hour before use.
While at TJ’s you could also pick up your favorite cheese and pesto sauce. This recipe includes a quick cashew-based option that really comes together quickly though, so give it a try at least once ☺️
Half-Baked Harvest inspired the seedy toping found here–you can definitely omit if you’d like but it really packs a flavorful punch of zesty lemon and piquant sesame.
I can see this dish working excellently on the grill, and it really is the perfect way to celebrate end-of-season basil. Please let me know your thoughts and, as always, tag @garlic_head on Insta. Buon appetito!
Find pesto here
- For sesame mixture:
- 2 tsp herbs de Provence (or dried basil + oregano)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 TBS lemon zest
- 1 TBS sesame seeds
- Pinch each salt & pepper
- 1 Trader Joe's refrigerated whole wheat pizza dough, or crust of choice
- Olive oil
- 1 batch pesto (linked below)
- 2 Yukon (or 6 baby golden) potatoes, sliced as thinly as possible
- For cashew cheese
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- Pinch salt
- 2 TBS nutritional yeast
- Splash of unsweetened almond milk, if necessary
- For serving: microgreens, sunflower seeds, fresh basil, fresh parsley
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Mix sesame mixture in a small bowl and set aside. Roll out your pizza dough on a flour surface or stretch with your hands to form a rough circle/square. Lay dough on a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet or pizza stone. Drizzle a little olive oil on crust and coat with your fingers. Sprinkle the seed mixture evenly across the top.
- Coat the entire crust with pesto, reserving a small amount for additional topping while serving. Lay potatoes on crust evenly, as pictured above. Drizzle with olive oil once more. Bake for 15 minutes, until cooked through and golden.
- While pizza is baking, blend cashew cheese in a food processor or high speed blender, scraping down the sides as needed. If a cohesive mixture is not forming, add a few tablespoons of almond milk. Set aside.
- As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, dollop cashew cheese and more pesto on as pictured above. Top with microgreens, pumpkin seeds for crunch, and fresh herbs. Best enjoyed immediately! If reheating, do so in a cast iron skillet to insure crispiness.