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Monday, June 25, 2012

Parmesan, Pea Pesto, and Fresh Herb Pizza

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Have you noticed that community tables are all the rage in restaurants lately? A nosy, people-watcher like myself loves this. Ryan’s always embarrassed because I’m always engrossed in the conversations around me and am sometimes less than subtle about my eavesdropping ways. Such was the case recently on a business trip to Seattle, when my friend Juli and I stopped in for dinner at Serious Pie, home of some of my all-time favorite pizza.
At our community table, a teenager and his parents sat down. After perusing the menu, the young man, in all seriousness, asked the server, “Don’t you have any pepperoni pizza?” When she explained that they did not, but instead highlighted a few of their other (amazing) pizza combinations, he followed up with a second question. “Where’s the nearest pizza hut?” Though probably not a question she gets asked very often, she graciously gave his parents directions to another pizza place.

As they walked out, I couldn’t help but speak up and tell them they were missing out! I haven’t had a bad pizza at Serious Pie, and my most recent visit featured a gem that included a pea pesto, parmesan, and fresh herbs. This is my recreation of it. I instead used sourdough crust (because I have no idea what makes Serious Pie’s crust so insanely addictive) , but the rest of the pizza was pretty true the original. I had a blonde moment and added my fresh herbs BEFORE baking, which is why they look a little crispy in the photos. Regardless, this was a fine substitute…especially because I have no travels to Seattle on the horizon!

What’s your favorite go-to pizza? Pepperoni? Or something crazy?

One Year Ago: Asparagus Goat Cheese Gratin (another restaurant inspired dish!)
Two Years Ago: No Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Parmesan, Pea Pesto, and Fresh Herb Pizza
Inspired by Serious Pie, pea pesto from Giada
-pizza dough
-1 (10 oz) package frozen peas, defrosted & divided
-1 garlic clove
-1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
-1 tsp kosher salt
-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1/3 cup olive oil
-2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
-2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400F. To make the pea pesto, add the peas (leave 1/2 cup out for topping the pizza), garlic, 1/2 cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper to a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined (1-2 minutes). Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
2. Roll out the pizza dough on a pizza stone or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and spread pea pesto on top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of peas and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until crust is crisp and cheese is melted.
3. Sprinkle with mint and basil. Cut into slices and serve immediately.