Spinach Pesto Pizza with Ricotta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
You won’t believe what happened today. I went to a birthday party for one of Scarlett’s friends and I met the one kid in the world that doesn’t like pizza. Yup, saw her with my own eyes. It was like staring at a unicorn. She didn’t make a big fuss about it though. You know how when some kids get offered a food they don’t like and they protest in horror as if you’re serving them dead toads, “EWWW, I hate carrots. They’re so gross! I’m gonna throw-up if I eat them.” Instead, when the pizza box made its way to her seat, she just declined with a simple, “No thank you, I don’t like pizza.” Then she went on to nurse her glow-in-the-dark juice like it was vodka martini. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She was completely content just sipping away on her drink as the other kids ate pizza like a pack of animals–fighting over crusts and stealing stiff, cold cheese from each other’s plates.
I couldn’t help but wonder if the only pizza she’d ever been exposed to was birthday party pizza and, therefore, she’d have every reason to not enjoy the gooey flatbread. Had she ever had a New York-style Margherita slice? The kind with a subtly sweet sauce that features such a pliable but puffy and chewy crust that she has to fold it lengthwise in order to keep the cheese from overpowering the triangle with its weight. I bet if she had she’d love pizza or so I tell myself.
Photo by Maya Visnyei
I’m not saying this is the best pizza you’ll ever eat but it’s pretty darn great. In other words, I’m sure the lovely little girl at the birthday party would like this slice of greatness. After making it all summer, I had to share it since it’s the perfect weeknight meal. I use a large store-bought flatbread as the crust and so, right there, you’ve just bought yourself a bunch of time. Then I top it with my easy spinach pesto and what I consider the perfect combination of flavours–sweet ricotta and salty sun-dried tomatoes. Oh, and of course, there’s a good dose of shaved cheese. However, instead of parmesan, I use asiago. Aside from being a dinner that goes from prep to table in the blink of an eye, it can also be a school lunch shared across lunch boxes. If you’re reading between the lines you understand I’m suggesting you make more than one pie. In fact, Scarlett likes to make her own version for her lunches. (Please check out the Lunch Ninja video starring, you guessed it, my sweetheart below this recipe. )
As I stare at the pie above I feel like I want to whisk Scarlett’s fellow party-goer to a good pizza joint and see what happens. In the meantime, I’ll just help myself to another slice.
- Spinach and Basil Pesto Pizza with Ricotta and Sun-dried Tomatoes
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 large store bought flat bread
- olive oil
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup shaved asiago cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- couple leaves of chopped basil for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375. Prepare a baking pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, add the garlic to mince; then add the spinach, basil, parmesan, oil and salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Lay the flatbread out onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle the flatbread with a bit of olive oil and smooth it across the surface with your fingers. Spread the pesto across the top of the flatbread leaving a 1/2 inch border around the circumference. Drop heaping tablespoons of the ricotta onto the pesto. Sprinkle with asiago and sun-dried tomatoes.
Place in the oven to bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with chopped basil and slice into triangles to serve.
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