Pizza is one of those foods that, despite being extremely popular, has a very bad rap. For being unhealthy and calorie laden, and for having very little nutritional value.
If you look at it on a glass-half-full, positive perspective, pizza can be the perfect excuse to get your daily dose of veggies in your diet. Think about it. It's the perfect vehicle, right??
People love to pile toppings on their pizza. We're piling up the veggies on this one. We love using fresh, seasonal, local ingredients in the kitchen. And since this time of year we have tons of fresh zucchini and tomatoes everywhere, especially in NJ, that's what we're going for, of course 🙂
Because we're using fresh tomatoes as a topping, we made a home made pesto to use as a base instead of tomato sauce, taking advantage of the beautiful basil we have growing in the garden.
You might be surprised to see we didn't use garlic in this pesto recipe....
No, we didn't suffer from temporary insanity nor we are vampires. And definitely don't have anything against garlic. In fact, we love it! But we created this recipe with our mom, who is actually allergic to garlic, in mind.
So, if you're a garlic lover, just add a clove or two (or three or four...) to the food processor. And here's a little tip: remove the core of the garlic, and it won't be as pungent... and your breath will thank you for it 😉
- 1- 8oz whole wheat thin pizza crust (here we used 365 Every Day Value)
- 1/2 cup pesto (recipe follows)
- 1 medium size yellow zucchini, sliced approximately 1/4 inch thick
- 1 medium size green zucchini, sliced approximately 1/4 inch thick
- 3 medium size plum tomatoes, sliced approximately 1/4 inch thick
- 10 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Dried oregano, salt and black pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet or a pizza tray with parchment paper. Bake crust for 5-7 minutes or until it starts to lightly crisp up. Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 325F
- Spread pesto on the crust. Arrange green and yellow zucchini slices, tomato and cheese, alternating each one until the entire crust is covered
- Season with oregano, salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 325F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is melted
- 3 cups tightly packed fresh basil
- 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tbsp pine nuts
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until well bended
If you don't have pine nuts, you can use any other nuts you have in hands. Walnuts and hazelnuts work great!