Vegetable Pesto Pizza

An Incomplete History of My Obsessions

1990:  Holographic pencils.  There was a little machine in the front office of my elementary school that would dispense two pencils for twenty-five cents, including certain holographic ones that came in a variety of bright colors.  The most coveted were the purples ones because word among us second-graders was that they were “rare.”  You could trade one purple holographic pencil for, like, three lesser pencils.  The machine also had NFL-themed pencils.  Those were useful bargaining chips when dealing with B-O-Y-S.

1993:  seaQuest DSV.  My interest was 90% Jonathan Brandis, 10% Darwin the dolphin, 0% science.  The truth is finally out.

1998:  Beanie Babies.  I spent hours on the Internet searching for good deals and bought plastic protectors to keep the heart-shaped tags pristine.  It was a big investment in time and money, all for naught when a) I became disinterested months later and b) the value of Beanie Babies plummeted.  This is why I let someone else manage my money these days.

2001-2005:  Graphic tees.  Yes, I shopped at Abercrombie & Fitch.  Yes, I am ashamed.

2007:  Vitamin Water.  It was December; I was studying for law school finals and consuming this drink nonstop.  I vividly remember huddling over my desk day after day in my gray J.Crew hoodie, with a bottle of Vitamin Water (preferably, Formula 50) always within arm’s reach as I outlined endlessly.  It’s a shame the vitamins did nothing to help me understand Corporations.

Currently:  Striped clothing.  I’m so into the nautical trend that’s popular right now – those navy and white stripes are inexplicably appealing to me – that I realized the majority of what I’m planning to wear on an upcoming vacation is really just variations on striped clothing.  When I look at my pictures years from now, I’m going to wonder if I just wore the same outfit for a 9 days.

Also currently:  Homemade pizza.  I made a lovely tomato basil garlic pizza a while back, and since then I have not been able to get enough of this stuff.  The beauty of homemade pizza is that you can jazz it up however you want.  The other day I was in the mood for pesto instead of a traditional tomato sauce, and I also wanted to get a good dose of veggies in.  Solution: vegetable pesto pizza!  It’s salty and cheesy and I love the way the broccoli florets get kind of crispy and charred at the top but still remain firm.  Make this soon – it just might become your new obsession.

Vegetable Pesto Pizza

Makes one 13×18 inch pizza

1/2 recipe No-Knead Pizza Dough

3/4 cup pesto

5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

1 medium bunch of broccoli, broken into florets

8 oz. fresh mozzarella

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1/4 – 1/2 cup asiago and/or parmesan (I used a mixture of parmesan, romano, and asiago)

Extra virgin olive oil for greasing pan

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Coat a 13×18 inch baking sheet liberally with olive oil.  Place dough on baking sheet and stretch out to the edges.

Spread pesto evenly over dough, going all the way to the edges.  Sprinkle with garlic.  Arrange tomato slices on pesto layer, then scatter broccoli florets and black olives.  Tear mozzarella into small chunks and scatter over the top, then sprinkle asiago/parmesan.

Bake pizza for 10-15 minutes, until edges are golden brown.  Switch to broil and let cheese get bubbly and slightly brown.  This should only take about a minute, so watch the pizza carefully.


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