OH, BABY. I hope you’re hungry, because I’ve just pulled this sexy, seasonal “pizza” from the oven. The (store-bought) puff pastry crust is layered with fragrant pesto, rounds of red tomato, black olives and Parmesan cheese. It’s chic enough for formal dining. It’s screamingly-delicious. And it’s really easy to make!
Note: You’ll need some good, garlicky basil pesto (is there any other kind?) for this pizza. If you don’t already have a trusted pesto recipe, just follow my directions for Chive Pesto, but substitute 3 cups fresh basil leaves for the chives. Use only enough olive oil to achieve a thick, spreadable sauce.
Enough jibber jabber. Let’s make this pizza with pizzazz!
To start, unfold a sheet of puff pastry dough onto a lightly-greased, rimless baking sheet. (I lined my baking sheet with parchment, but you don’t have to.) Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out just a tad, to achieve a 10-inch square.
Pop the pastry into the fridge, and let it chill for about 30 minutes.
Good luck with that.
Good News: Should your pastry soften during any stage of this recipe, just chill it in the fridge for a few minutes.
Bake in a preheated 400°F oven until the pastry puffs, the tomatoes soften, and the cheese melts — 20-25 minutes. To avoid a soggy bottom crust, transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack, and let the pizza cool for 30 minutes.
Think you’ll try this portrait of perfection? You can let me know by leaving a comment. As always, I love to hear from you.
Need a copy-and-paste version of the above? Here we go-go:
Puff Pastry Pesto Pizza
Kevin Lee Jacobs (www.kevinleejacobs.com)
Ingredients for 1 10-inch tart, or enough for 2 large servings
1 sheet cold puff pastry dough
1/3 cup pesto
1 perfectly ripe, in-season tomato
A handful of sliced black olives
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Special equipment: A lightly-greased, rimless baking sheet (or a rimmed baking sheet, turned upside down)
Unfold the pastry on the baking sheet, and roll it, just a little, to achieve a 10-inch square. Using a sharp knife, score a 1/2-inch border around the pastry. Pierce the wide area inside the marked edge with the tines of a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the tomato into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. (The crust can accommodate 4 large or 6 medium slices.) Let the rounds drain on paper towels while the pastry chills.
Set the oven rack at the lower-middle position; preheat oven to 400°F.
Spread the pesto to the marked edge of the dough. Top with the tomato slices, olives, and cheese.
Bake until the pastry puffs and browns, the tomatoes soften, and the cheese melts — 20-25 minutes. Set the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the tart cool for 15-30 minutes.
Slide the pizza onto a board, and cut into serving pieces.
Delicious with a salad, and goblets of Cabernet Sauvignon.