Category Archives: Pizza

Pizza with Mint Pesto, Grilled Chicken, Provolone and Peaches

This is a recipe I adapted and put together for Goodbite.com and I’ve been meaning to put those posts I’ve contributed on this blog, so here goes one of them!  Enjoy!

There have been many pizzas that have crossed my plate.  Eye-rolling, dramatic sigh-inducing pizzas.  Pizzas with caramelized onions, prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella, pizzas with ricotta, bacon and tomatoes.  These pizzas are deserving of praise in their own right and I could go on, but I’d rather talk to you about one pizza in particular.

About a year or so ago, at a restaurant in Raleigh, N.C called Zest, I had such a pizza (it was eye-rolling and dramatic sigh inducing indeed).  In awe of such a bewitching pizza that has since been perfectly ingrained in my memory, I was recently inspired to do my best to recreate this pizza.  With a little help from Giada De Laurentiis and Ree Drummond, I ended up tweaking a dough and pesto recipe and got all the right flavors together, comingling to make a satisfying summer pizza.  This pizza encompasses some of my favorite flavors of summer – mint, peaches and basil.  I decided to add mint to the pesto, to enhance the flavor even more.  The basil-mint pesto is refreshing and exotic, the grilled chicken and provolone cheese savory, and the peaches sweet.  Peaches should appear on pizzas more often.

Pesto Pizza with Grilled Chicken, Peaches and Provoloneinspired by a pizza from Zest, located at 8831 6 Forks Road, Raleigh, N.C.

Ingredients:

  • Pesto recipe
  • Dough recipe
  • Grilled chicken
  • 3-4 peaches, peeled and sliced.
  • 6 or 7 discs of sliced provolone cheese (or about 1 cup of shredded provolone)

Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s “My Favorite Pizza Dough” recipe).

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 packet of active dry or instant yeast
  • ¼ cup of Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 ½ cups warm water

Yields 2 crusts

Instructions:

Pour the yeast over the warm water and let sit.

Mix flour and salt together in a mixer with a paddle attachment or dough hook, at low speed.  Drizzle olive oil with mixer still running – mix until well combined.  Then add the yeast and water mixture and mix just until combined.

Form a ball with the dough and give a light drizzle of olive oil in a separate bowl.  Start working and shaping the dough in the bowl.  Cover the bowl with a towel and keep warm – setting it near a warm stove (or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Dough can be made up to 4 days in advance).

When you are ready to assemble your pizza, preheat the oven to 475 degrees, spray a large pizza pan or baking sheet (or drizzle with olive oil) and take apart half of the dough.  Work the dough out on the pan, pressing with palm and fingertips, stretching and flattening out to the edges of the pan.  The dough should be fairly thin.

Grilled Chicken

Marinade (enough for 1 chicken breast)

  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. of Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. of brown sugar (either light or dark)
  • 1 tsp. of less sodium soy sauce
  • Pinch of mixed dried herbs

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl.  Place the chicken breast in a shallow dish or zip lock bag, pour marinade over and make sure the chicken is fully coated.  Let sit in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour an up to overnight.

Grill on each side over medium high heat for about 5 minutes on each side.

Slice in thin pieces.

Basil-Mint Pesto (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’s “Everyday Italian”).

  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 1 ½ cups basil leaves
  • ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts (toast on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees).
  • ¼ cup of shredded or finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • About 2/3 cup of Extra Virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Combine basil, mint, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped.  With the food processor still running, gradually add olive oil until the pesto is thick and smooth.

Assembling the Pizza

Use a spatula to spread the pesto thinly and evenly over the pizza dough.  Sprinkle the edges of the crust with some parmesan cheese.  Place chicken over pizza, followed by the peach slices and the provolone cheese.

Bake (at 475 degrees) for about 10-15 minutes.

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