What’s for Dinner

Homemade basil pesto, roasted tomato & grilled chicken pizza for the grown-ups, pepperoni & cheese pizza for the kids

This morning, while having coffee and flipping through cookbooks, I got the idea to make homemade pizzas and pesto. With the basil in my garden in overdrive, all I needed from the store was parmesan and pine nuts.

And making your pizza dough is so easy. All you need is flour, salt, olive oil, warm water and active dry yeast. In My Father’s Daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow also has you add sugar. Since I’d just used the last of it in my coffee, I skipped that ingredient. Pioneer Woman doesn’t have you add sugar in her recipe so it didn’t seem critical.

I’ve never made pesto but it turned out to be super easy, and good. I still have a ton in the fridge.

Barrak grilled thin-sliced chicken breasts for our pizzas. Magnus ate a bunch of the grilled chicken straight off the plate; I’ll file that information away for a future dinner.

I considered sun-dried tomatoes but instead went with slow-roasted tomatoes – another great Gwyneth recipe. You halve vine-ripened tomatoes horizontally, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and roast them at 275 degrees for 3 – 5 hours. I only had 2 hours and they still came out great: sweet, rich and almost caramelized.

We crumbled a block of salty feta cheese over the pizza and sent it into a 450 degree oven. The crust ended up being a little doughy — you need a bonafide pizza oven to get that nice crispy crust. So we used forks and it was still the best meal we’ve had all week.

Next time we make pizza, I’ll use pita bread — a tip I got from our neighbors who both have demanding careers and two little ones AND also like to cook. They even brought me a bag of the homemade pita bread they buy from a bakery on Cleveland Avenue. Thanks guys!

Homemade pesto! I can't wait to find other uses for it.

Homemade pesto! I can’t wait to find other uses for it.

Gwyneth's slow-roasted tomatoes. I wish we had some left for sandwiches.

Gwyneth’s slow-roasted tomatoes. I wish we had some left for sandwiches.

Food photography is an art. Trust me: this pizza looked better in person than it does here.

Food photography is an art. Trust me: this pizza looked better in person than it does here.

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2 thoughts on “What’s for Dinner

  1. Pork chops with pesto make a great dinner. The really fast way is grill the chops, add a dollop of pesto and grated parmesan. Dinner is ready.

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