To make this pizza, I started with a basic pizza crust recipe (but substituted 100% white whole wheat flour), rolled it out thin, into a free form shape. Then I spread pesto all over the crust, to the edges. My Mom made this pesto and it was really delicious (she used basil, garlic, olive oil, almonds and lemon juice). Then I sprinkled shredded mozzarella, topped with roasted red peppers, sliced olives stuffed with garlic cloves, a little more cheese and then thin strips of basil*. I covered a pizza stone in a thin layer of corn meal and baked for about 25 minutes on 375’. While this pizza was really tasty and wholesome - and the thicker crust was perfect to stand up to the hearty toppings…I think next time I’d like to compliment the star of this dish (the pesto) with a thinner crust and lighter ingredients - thin sliced tomatoes and maybe only a small amount of cheese. Because really, the pesto was so good, I could have excluded the cheese all together and just had a delicious fresh vegetable and pesto flatbread!
*If you aren’t familiar with the thin-ribbon slicing technique (like I did with the Basil) - it’s called Chiffonade. This can be used when cutting any herbs or leafy greens. If want to get really fancy, you could even do this with edible flowers (roses work best - they are more hearty) and spinkle on top of a dessert for a colorful garnish.
1.The easiest way to try this is to first stack your basil leaves on top of one another (so the widest part is going left-right) and then roll them up.
2. Use one hand to gently hold the roll of basil and with the other - use a sharp knife to carefully slice thin strips - as they are cut they will release and open up as delicate ribbons.