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13. Juli 2013

Pizza Bites with Almond Basil Pesto and Spinach



I have been on a major pizza craving trip lately. Not that this is anything to worry about since I have always loved a good ol’ piece of juicy pizzy with a ton of melted cheese on top. I am a cheese lover, I really am, and although there are voices that claim cheese to be as addictive as drugs, I don’t care. There are worse addictions than cheese in my opinion. But still, I get the point. That’s why I think it is important to buy high quality cheeses that taste like the “real” thing and aren’t reduced in fat. Cheese should be something one has every once in a while (or every day, ehem) and should be devoured with exctiment for the product. It’s like saying “Cheeeeese” and be happy. Get that? I don’t get it either. Am I confusing?

Now that I have said all this, let’s return to the star of today’s post, the pizza itself.
There is cheese involved, obviously. Mozzarella and good ol’ parmesan. Two of my all time favorites!
Instead of making my “standard” pizza with tomato sauce, today I smothered it with delicious, garlicky pesto and topped it with yummy spinach (eat your greens, friends!).
The highlight (for me) still is the cheese, but well. What can I say. I won’t say anthing else here. It’s going to be…too much to handle.
Let me just tell you, go make these pizza bites and stuff yourself silly with it. It’s well worth the effort and since it makes quite a lot, share with a friends or your lover(s?). They’ll thank you. Amen.




Pizza Bites with Almond Pesto and Spinach
(inspired by a photo on Instagram from www.bevcooks.com)


My favorite pizza dough recipe:
(makes enough for 2 sheets)

42g fresh yeast + 4 Tbsp warm water

250g wheat flour
300g whole wheat flour
250ml warm water
6 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt

Crumble fresh yeast and dissolve in 4 Tbsp of warm water.
In a large mixing bowl add flour and salt. Mix to combine. Now add yeast-water-mixture, water and olive oil and knead to form a dough.
I prefer to first mix with the kneading hooks of my hand mixer but then continue kneading by hand. I probably knead the dough for 5 minutes or until it looks smooth and becomes elastic.
Divide the dough into two equal parts and let rest coverd for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Almond Pesto

1 bunch basil leaves
80g (1/2 cup) almonds
4 garlic cloves
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
2 bird’s eye chilis
Salt

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until a smooth pesto forms. Season with salt to taste.


Toppings

250g frozen spinach, thawed
1 ball (125g) fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
40g parmesan cheese, shredded

If using frozen spinach, defrost in the microwave for several minutes or cook after packaging directions. Drain well in a colander to remove excess water and set aside.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Take one half of the dough and roll into a rectangle (or something similar
;)).
Spread the pesto to cover all the dough. Then add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and cover everything with cheese.
Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes or until the cheese starts to turn golden.
Slive pizza onto small rectangles and serve immediately. Tastes best eaten with your hands.

Ps.: The leftover half of the dough can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Let come to room temperature befor baking.

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