Red Pepper Pesto Pepperoni Pizza (trust me)
Pizza. Every kid's favorite food, right? Okay and well a lot of adults. During the fall we regularly have pizza every Monday night football. This version gives the ol' pepperoni stand by a push into adult sophistication and ups the nutrition up a bit. The name is Red Pepper Pesto Pepperoni Pizza to be exact. It even sounds a bit more refined. Wow what a difference a bit of pesto makes in the place of tomato red sauce on a pizza. I have been on a pesto kick for a few weeks now. It started with the cilantro walnut pesto I made for fish tacos, and then parsley walnut pesto I made for pork chops (both of those can be easily be found under the dinner tab). So naturally I saw this recipe in a Rachael Ray magazine and got super excited. Try it now or make it when summer hits... amazing flavor
I needed some comfort food to start the busy weekend. Its been one of those days.... okay I will level with ya. Any day in which you have a doctors appointment that you have to strip off clothing for the doctor - I personally think pizza should always be in order! I am making a new household rule :)
So I picked up a loaf of french bread from the bakery and whipped this up in under 30 minutes. Super flavorful. Super yummy!!! My son hasn't even noted that he's eating 2 different veggies. The first thing you taste when you crunch into this delight is the freshness of the basil, red pepper, and tomato. Then you taste the creamy melted cheese. The pepperoni isn't a star of this pizza pie although it certainly can be if you add more than I did. So if the pepperoni is a supporting cast member, the red pepper shines brightly as the star of the show. As a veg with tons of vitamins I am happy to let it shine in the company of cheese and bread and pepperoni, probably a mom thing. Red bell pepper has fiber, vitamin a, vitamin b-6, manganese, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin c. Some of those change when cooked, but if you roast it you aren't using any water and it doesn't change the vitamin c level which makes me happy when colds are still hitting people so hard this winter/early spring. To read more about nutrition, please click here. The original Rachael Ray recipe, from the 2010 magazine, that this was adapted from can be seen, by clicking here.
To make this amazing pizza gather these ingredients:
1. Loaf of french bread, split horizontally
2. 2 red bell peppers
3. 1 Tb olive oil + more for drizzling
4. 1 tsp salt
5. 1/4 tsp pepper
6. 1/3 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
7. 1/3 cup fresh basil chopped
8. 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
9. 1 & 1/2 - 2 cups of shredded cheese for topping the pizza
(use the cheese of your choice. I used one labeled pizza)
10. half a package of pepperoni (about 1 1/2 oz)
11. One roma tomato, chopped into chunks
Directions1. Preheat your bbq or grill.
2. Remove the core and seeds from the red peppers, and quarter them. Put them in a bowl with the olive oil and toss until they are all coated.
3. Roast the peppers for 5 minutes on each side until they are charred
4. In a food processor put the 1/3 cup shredded cheese, basil, chopped tomato, salt, lemon juice, and pepper.
5. Let the peppers cool and then remove some of the charred black skin. I left about half because I like the smell and taste of "bbq" foods. Put the red peppers in the food processor and let it pulse for about 10 seconds.
6. Start drizzling in some olive oil until it comes together like a liquidity paste. Taste it to make sure the salt & pepper is right.
7. Preheat oven to 350.
8. Cut the french bread. Pull out some of the middle sections and save them for breadcrumbs later. I threw about a cups worth of the inside fluffy bread into a zip lock bag and threw it in the freezer. But removing some of the bread you can really load the yummy pesto and cheese on. Save the bread calories so you can spend them on some real flavor.
9. Spread the pesto over the bread (this amount will fully cover plus so pile it on or use some for something else). I am thinking this pesto would taste amazing over chicken. Layer on the cheese and pepperoni and bake.
10. I used a oven and cookie sheet at 350 for approx 8 minutes until everything looked melted and hot. But you could do this on a grill quite easily or a pizza stone. Make it your own ;)
This is the ultimate comfort pizza meal.
Perfect for the upcoming 3 day weekend.
From my kitchen to yours... happy Friday!