Friday, July 31, 2015

What is Tomato Pesto? Why Put it on a Pizza?

What is Tomato Pesto? Why Put it on a Pizza?

A vegetarian's delight: pizza with marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and pickled banana peppers on fresh tomato pesto, topped with salty feta crumbles and creamy burrata cheese, finished with fresh summer savory.

Have you made Fresh Tomato Pesto yet? It's one of my most popular posts every summer, and with good reason. This flexible dairy free recipe uses ANY type of tomato (I've tried cherry to Roma), assorted nuts--or sunflower seeds--and whatever herbs you've got handy. I prefer a combo of flat Italian parsley and basil, but I'll be experimenting with cilantro this year.
This is after thawing!
Eat it fresh, and if you've got a bunch of ripe tomatoes--put some up for later by freezing! I like these reusable storage caps for freezing (Amazon affiliate link) and freeze my pesto in half pint size jars. I use a piece of clear tape to write down the contents so I don't get mixed up--for example between arugula pesto and  garlic scape pesto. The lids wash up fine and only break when you swing the freezer door open too quickly and everything falls out and rolls on the floor to the delight of Robert Barker. [I'm sure that only happens to me, though].

I like to dip a variety of veggies and crackers into my fresh tomato pesto, but I really like to use it on pizza. I thaw a jar a day or so in advance, in the fridge, and drain off any water that rises to the top [For use as a pasta sauce I just stir it in.] Then I've got a flavorful sauce that adds a homemade touch to pizza.

Go make Fresh Tomato Pesto. My tutorial is here. For other recipes using tomatoes, please see my Red & Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks, please see my Pinterest board. For more vegetarian pizzas, please check out my Visual Pizza Recipe Index and my Friday Night Pizza Night Pinterest board. Wanna know how to Use This Blog? Click here!

Note: I've written a couple of posts about making pizza at home. You can find A Pizza Primer here, and 7 Tips for Making Pizza at Home here. They are worth a read if you're unsure about throwing down some crust.

Vegetarian's Delight Pizza with Tomato Pesto

olive oil for the parchment paper
1 pound pizza dough of your choice (here's some suggestions)
½ cup fresh (or thawed) tomato pesto (recipe here)
¾ cup marinated artichokes, chopped and drained
¼ cup kalamata olives, slices
¼ cup pickled banana peppers (or you could make yours pink like I did here)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
8 ounces burrata cheese, ripped into tiny pieces
1 branch summer savory

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you've got a pizza stone just leave it in the oven, ok? On an oiled piece of parchment paper, stretch out dough to the shape it feels like morphing into. Spread fresh tomato pesto over crust to edges. Top with vegetables and cheeses. Strip the leaves off the branch of summer savory and scatter them across the top of the pizza. Slide the whole thing, parchment paper and all, into the preheated oven and bake 5 to 8 minutes. Shimmy the pizza off the paper and continue baking another 3 to 5 minutes directly on the stone or oven rack until cheese is bubbly. Cool on a rack before slicing and serving.


  1. I bet that was a magnificent day in Robert Barker's world. That pup got some high falutin' eats in the form of tomato pesto. So far our tomato accumulations have not been extreme, although I think that's going to change this week. I expect a big batch in the food share and two of my three plants are started to pop. I better get my food processor ready. Tomato pesto here we come. Also this pizza: swoon.

    1. Robert Barker is an awesome dog. The best Basset Hound in our house today! (How's that for not playing favorites?)

  2. An interesting recipe for pizza. I will definitely cook for the whole family. Available ingredients and fast cooking. looks very appetizing. I take the recipe for myself.