In honor of my friend Amy’s request, here is a summery pizza with a vegetarian spin on it. Instead of using traditional tomato sauce, the crust is coated in pesto. Mozzarella and feta cheese are melted on top along with fresh basil, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, onions, olives and bell peppers for an authentic Mediterranean taste.
*I used a few blanched and skinned bell peppers that I had left over from the Heirloom Tomato Bisque. If you don’t want to go to that much trouble, just slice raw bell peppers or use canned roasted bell peppers. Both will work just fine.
**Add grilled cubes of chicken for a meatier version. I like it either way!
- 1 Refrigerated Pizza Crust (I use Pillsbury when I don’t want to make my own!)
- 1/4-1/3 c. Pre-made Pesto (Costco & Sam’s sell HUGE bottles for around $5 – just freeze what you don’t use)
- 10 oz. Shredded Mozzarella
- 1/3 c. Feta, crumbled
- 1/4 c. Fresh Basil Leaves, packed
- 1/3 c. Canned Artichoke Hearts, Chopped
- 1/3 c. Black Olives, quartered lengthwise (or use Kalamata olives for a stronger flavor)
- 1/3 Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, sliced 1/4″x2″
- 2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and diced
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- On a greased cookie sheet, spread out your dough in a rectangular shape.
- Evenly spread the pesto on top of the dough leaving 1/4″ uncovered along the edge.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella and feta cheeses evenly across the surface.
- Lay the basil leaves flat on top of the cheese, placing evenly across the surface.
- Evenly sprinkle the artichoke hearts, olives, onion and peppers over the pizza.
- Bake the pizza for 20-25 minutes on the top rack of the oven.
- When the pizza looks like it has 2-3 more minutes to cook, remove from the oven and top with the tomatoes. Return to the oven and bake for a few more minutes. Cheese should be lightly browned in spots when the pizza is done. *adding the tomatoes at the end of cooking will stop them from becoming mushy and leave them more fresh and juicy.
- Slice the pizza into squares and serve. Makes 12 slices.