Editor’s Note: Today’s entry is contributed by guest blogger, Tina, the author of Just Putzing Around the Kitchen. Tina is an attorney, a lover of all reality and food-related television, a stress-eater, a voracious reader, and an unabashed fantasy/sci-fi dork. She lives in Virginia with her boyfriend and two curious cats.
A few months after I started my judicial clerkship, the top floor of the courthouse, which had previously been undergoing extensive renovations, finally opened up for business. This was exciting because 1) we got to move into much nicer, larger digs, and 2) the new dining room down the hall from our chambers was awesome. I liked my roomy new law clerk office, but it was the dining room that had me on cloud nine.
Unlike the cafe downstairs, this one had a salad bar, a hot entree section, and made-to-order sandwiches. Man, those sandwiches...Every sandwich I had there was delicious, but my favorite was the Chicken Pesto Sandwich -- grilled chicken, thick slices of fresh mozzarella, spinach, and homemade pesto on a toasted ciabatta roll. Mmmm...
I've been craving that sandwich on and off since my clerkship ended. I would just make my own, but I keep forgetting to buy ciabatta rolls when I'm at the grocery store, and I'm too lazy to make my own.
But, I recently made a beautiful batch of pizza dough, and I've been meaning to try out my friend Melissa's spinach-walnut pesto recipe, so...time to get creative and turn my fav sandwich into a delicious pizza!
With my pizza dough already mixed and slow-rising in the fridge, making these pizzas was quick and easy. All I had to do was grab a handful of dough, stretch it to my desired shape and thickness, load it down with yummy toppings, and zap it in the oven.
Chicken Pesto Pizza
- 1 batch of spinach-walnut pesto (or regular, basil-based pesto)
- 1 batch of pizza dough
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into chunks or strips
- Fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices (no measurement here, since it depends on how much cheese you want on your pizza)
(1) Preheat oven to 500. Grease a baking sheet, or prepare a pizza stone.
** I don't own a pizza stone, so I bake all my pizza on regular ol' baking sheets. Pizzas turn out just fine, as far as I can tell.
(2) Divide your pizza dough into two pieces.
(3) Pull and stretch one piece of dough into your desired shape/thickness.
** I made individual-sized pizzas, so I actually just grabbed a few handfuls of dough and shaped smaller pieces about 1/3 inch thick. If you're using half the batch at once, you're going to get a much larger pizza. When then Pioneer Woman was making her pizza, she stretched her dough into a large rectangular shape.
(4) Slather pesto onto the surface of your stretched pizza dough. Again, no measurements, because it depends on your tastes.
** I used 1-2 tbsp for each of my individual-sized pizzas.
(5) Layer mozzarella, spinach, and chicken on top of the pesto. Load it up!
(6) Slip your baking sheet into the oven, and leave it in for approximately 12 minutes, or until crust is golden/brown and cheese is melted/bubbly.
(7) Cut into squares, and eat immediately!