Thin Crust Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes

When I was a freshman in college, I ate pizza pretty much every day for lunch (I'm not proud, trust me - I'm just coming clean). Our dining hall (and no, it did not look like that when I went there, unfortunately) had the best cheese pizza - they kept it nice and hot, and of course there was all that ranch dressing for dippage action. But even better than the dining hall pizza was Woodstock's!! So flippin' good! They had (and still have) this awesome invention called "wildebread" - it's basically pizza dough topped with seasonings, garlic and cheese and cut into little breadstick-sized pieces, served with ranch and marinara dipping sauces. The stuff dreams are made of, I tell you. At least my college freshman dreams. I'd like to think my tastes are a bit more refined now, but um, just thinking about the wildebread has me craving it all over again. In terms of pizza though I do have a preference for thinner crusts these days, and I try to abstain from the ranch dipping (not all the time, but most of the time). I was craving pizza last week (who am I kidding - I'm pretty much always craving pizza) and came across this thin crust recipe from The Kitchn - brilliant. My favorite thin crust pizza dough (which I don't think I've ever posted here - I need to fix that) requires a few nights in the fridge, so the idea of a thin crust pizza dough that I could enjoy the same night I'd slapped it together was pretty appealing. In an effort to clean out the fridge I made two varieties of pizza that night - a butternut squash puree topped with caramelized onions and sage (recipe coming soon) and a simple pesto pizza with tomatoes. Both were insanely delicious. I was surprised, but this crust is really very good - not quite as thin and crispy/chewy as my favorite crust, but quick, easy to work with, and a great texture. Luckily it's a bit more refined than greasy cheese pizza dipped in ranch dressing, so I can tell myself that I've grown up and my palate has matured, but I'm fully aware that's just self-delusion. 

 

Thin Crust Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes

adapted from The Kitchn

serves 2

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Set a pizza stone on the floor of your oven and preheat to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. 
  2. Lay down a piece of parchment paper and lay the dough ball on top. Using your hands and working from the middle of the ball outwards, flatten and stretch the dough into a very thin disc. Use a rolling pin if you like. You want the crust as thin as possible without tearing. Leave the dough on the parchment paper - it will cook on the paper.
  3. Evenly spread the pesto over the dough. Top with slices of fresh mozzarella, then slices of tomato. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. 
  4. Slide the parchment paper onto the pizza stone and cook pizza for about 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted, browned, and bubbling and crust is nicely browned. Slide the whole piece of parchment paper out of the oven onto a wooden cutting board or cooling rack, and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. 

 

 

Look at that crust! Perfection. 

Find similar recipes at Feastie:

Tomato-Basil Pizza, Two Ways from The Pioneer Woman
Pizza Sandwiches from Design Eat Play
Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza from The Spiffy Cookie
  Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sandwich  from Sweet Basil
  Sun-dried Tomato Pesto And Mozzarella Paninis  from Sweet Basil

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