This pizza begs for the grill, to be eaten al fresco and paired with one of my top 3 favorite wines of all time: 2006 Rombauer Zinfandel.
If you are not so fortunate with an outdoor grill and the weather, by all means use an oven and consume indoors.
The word of the day is fresh- from the fresh basil to the mozzarella, I didn't want to use anything from a can or a jar. I make a nut-less pesto most of the time, which I find lighter and more palatable than true pesto made with pine nuts.
Fresh Basil Tomato & Mozzarella Pizza
makes 2 small rectangular pizzas
semolina pizza dough (1/2 recipe), divided into two portions
1/4 cup basil pesto, recipe follows
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped into small dice
1 ball fresh mozzarella, chopped as thinly as possible
olive oil spray and cornmeal for dusting the pizza peel
Basil Pesto (nut-less)
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbs parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
Place the basil, garlic, and parmesan cheese in a blender. Pulse a few times until starting to combine. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow stream until a paste has formed.
Place a pizza stone on your grill and heat to 475-500 degrees.
Meanwhile, spray a pizza peel with olive oil spray and dust liberally with cornmeal. Flour a clean dry work surface and knead, stretch, and roll the first piece of dough to desired thickness and size. Place on the pizza peel, then repeat with the second ball of dough. Spoon pesto onto each piece of dough and spread thinly with a spoon. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes, and scatter the rounds of mozzarella on top.
Transfer from the pizza peel to the grill and close the lid. Turn off the direct heat beneath and grill for about 10 minutes. If you need to turn the heat back on to maintain the temperature, do so on low so as not to burn the bottom of the pizza. You want it brown, not black.
Let the pizza sit for a minute before you cut and serve, or else you will burn the roof of your mouth. I can never wait and so the roof of mine is raw and peeling.