It usually greets us at the end of week, Friday night, on a bruised wooden paddle, in the form of a misshapen circle. From its charred edges and familiar flavors it whispers, I love you. Every single time. If homemade pizza were a love language, I’d speak it fluently. We go together like dark chocolate and peanut butter. Like a crispy crust and a bright green pesto.
This post is sponsored by naturally delicious Justin’s.
To be completely honest, we pull out a non-homemade pizza from the well-stocked freezer every other week too. It saves our mid-week, caught-in-the-headlights dinner scramble. Kev is our best frozen pizza maker. (To his credit, he’s much better at house chores like laundry. My loads often never make it into the dryer.) We buy one kind of frozen pizza—pesto topped with tomato slices. It might be my favorite combination.
Of course, this homemade version would win in an arm wrestle. Hands down. Did you catch that? I wish I could claim this recipe as my own. It hails from the new Justin’s Cookbook, Justin My Kitchen, developed by Julianna Abdallah. For the pesto, she uses almond butter in place of the traditional pine nuts. Believe me when I say this is the last pesto recipe you’ll make. It’s creamy and nutty and all together genius. The tiny specs of brown even make it beautiful.
In case you’ve lost all trust in me when I say this is thee very best, I brought in reinforcement. My neighbor, Lucy, came over to make this pizza with me the other day, grabbing a quick slice on her way out. Two minutes later, she was back in the kitchen headed straight for the pizza. We finished off that pizza just the two of us. Quality assurance.
Whether it’s Friday night or Tuesday, I hope you grab an excuse to gather around the table to this pesto pizza. It’ll say I love you in not so many words. I don’t think I need to tell you this pesto works well on pasta, sandwiches, meat, etc, but it does.
- 2 c. basil, loosely packed
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1/3 c. parmesan, grated
- 2 tbsp. Justin's Almond Butter
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- kosher salt and cracked pepper, to taste
- 16 oz. pizza dough, homemade or purchased
- 2/3 c. mozzarella, sliced
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- Preheat oven to 450°. Place pizza steel or stone in the oven, if using.
- Prepare the pesto. In a food processor or high powered blender, combine all pesto ingredients and blitz until smooth. Set aside.
- Prepare the pizza. Using a pizza paddle or the underneath side of baking sheet, toss a small handful of cornmeal onto the surface to keep dough from sticking. Toss or roll out dough. Spread a couple spoonfuls of pesto over the surface. Using the back of a spoon, spread it out evenly, leaving a 1" crust. Add mozzarella and tomato slices.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust begins to golden and cheese melts.
- Allow to cool at least a minute before slicing pizza.
Recipe developed by Julianna Abdallah from Justin’s.