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One of the sad truths of my life is that I don’t really like to cook that much.

Whilst I could quite happily spend every waking hour baking cookies, I find the whole process of actually having to cook meals fairly tedious. The desire that I have to eat said meals also seems to be inversely proportional to the amount of time that it took to prepare them.

For some strange reason, this rule doesn’t seem to apply to cake.

Most of the time, if I’m honest, the aim is to get the food from the fridge to our plates in the shortest time possible and with minimal disruption to our busy schedule of watching old episodes of CSI.  Part of it is just a question of timing – both boyfriend and I are never really sure when we’re going to have to work late (or get sidetracked by the pub on the way home) and it’s a rare evening that one of us is home before 8pm. By which time we are both starving and are barely capable of stringing coherent sentences together.

The fantasy me – the one that has a perfectly made bed every day and actually puts laundry in the basket rather than on the floor next to it – loves to spend hours in the kitchen, standing over a simmering pan and crafting delicious meals for her nearest and dearest. The reality is far more likely to involved a telephone and the local Indian restaurant.

Given the choice, I could very easily live on a diet of pasta and pizza alone. The former is pretty well represented on this site but I realised the other day that home made pizza had yet to make an appearance.

Pizza is one area of my life that has been infinitely improved by the purchase of a stand mixer. Kneading is not one of my strong points so I’d pretty much stopped making the dough at home. With my mixer, however, I can just chuck everything in, flick a switch and have perfect dough in a couple of minutes. 

This is a great spring pizza (and a great way to use fresh pesto) and is inspired by a pizza class I took at Divertimenti in the pre-blog days. I love the combination of the green beans and the potatoes but I imagine it would work well with other vegetables too. I think the potatoes are a must though. You can never have too many carbs.

~

 

Pizza with pesto, potatoes and green beans

Yield: 2 pizzas

Ingredients

For the pizza dough:

  • 1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
  • 250 – 500ml (1 – 2 cups) warm water
  • 500g (just under 4 1/2 cups) bread flour
  • 4 -5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the toppings:

  • 8 – 10 new potatoes (depending on size)
  • 2 handfuls green beans
  • 1 quantity pesto (or approximately 130g)
  • 2 tablespoons single cream (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shaved parmesan (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. To make the pizza dough, dissolve the yeast in a a cup of warm water and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  2. If kneading by hand, put the flour, oil and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast and extra water if necessary to bring together the ingredients into a bowl. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 – 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. If making the dough in a mixer, put all the ingredients in the bowl of your mixer. Use the dough hook on a low speed (I used ‘2’) to mix your ingredients until you have a dough that starts creeping up the hook and is smooth.  You may need to add another cup of warm water if the dough looks a bit dry.
  4. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (this took about an hour).
  5. While the dough is rising, you can prepare the toppings. In a large pan of salted boiling water, cook your potatoes for 15 minutes until cooked through but firm (there’s no need to peel them). Add the green beans for the last couple of minutes so that they are also cooked but still firm. Drain the vegetables and leave to cool before slicing the potatoes thinly.
  6. If you want, you can mix your pesto with a couple of tablespoons of cream to get a richer sauce but this is an optional step and depends partly at least on the consistency of your pesto.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  8. When the dough has risen, turn it onto a flat surface and gently flatten and shape it with your fingers. I split my dough in two and pulled them into a rough circle.
  9. Place the dough on a baking tray that has been drizzled with olive oil. Spread with the pesto and cover with the potatoes and green beans. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Serve with shavings of fresh parmesan.
 
31 Responses to "pizza al pesto"
  1. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    This looks delicious! I don’t think there are enough non-tomato pizzas in the UK. I can’t wait to try this!

  2. Pizza is one of my favourite things too. I make it pretty often. This one looks delicious!

  3. Katie says:

    This looks amazing. I love the idea of putting potatoes on pizza!

  4. What a fun little combination you have here! I love homemade pizza and since making our “artisan bread in five minutes a day” dough, we have it once a week. Like you, I hate kneading…not interested ;) Lovely post as usual x

  5. Potato and pesto?! Yes, please!! Yum!

  6. Louisa says:

    Love the post, the pizza looks delicious. Even though it forms quite a large part of my diet, I’ve never actually attempted to make a pizza! I think that will have to change. I’d probably throw a heap of feta cheese on top though…obsessed with feta cheese on pizzas!

  7. london bakes says:

    @Jenny – My boyfriend, who hates tomatoes, would agree with you!

    @Katie – Thank you! They’re really delicious on pizza.

    @Elaina – I still need to get a copy of that book, it sounds even easier than my kitchenaid method!

    @Katrina – Glad you liked it!

    @Louisa – Funny you should say that, I actually made double the dough and made a different pizza that featured feta in a starring role. Will probably post the recipe in the next week or so!

  8. Erin says:

    I really need to make pizza with pesto sauce sometime soon! This looks lovely.

  9. This is like a pizza version of that classic Italian dish, trofie pasta with pesto and potatoes. I love the combination of different starches and can imagine this is delicious.

    I absolutely adore spending time in the kitchen, whether cooking or baking, but I can totally sympathise with that after work feeling when cooking a proper meal can feel like a serious labour of love!

  10. SreeBindu says:

    yumm…following you =)
    xoxo

  11. this looks beautiful!!! i like the combination of pesto and potatoes atop pizza! i love using my stand mixer to knead for me :) always a plus!

  12. Jennifer says:

    I’m a baker as well, but this pizza recipe might just get me in the kitchen to do some dinner cooking.

  13. This looks SO good. Come over and cook us dinner tonight? :)

  14. Great recipe, we make pizzas once a week in our house…I love experimenting with toppings!

  15. london bakes says:

    @Erin – I really like tomato sauce on pizza but this is a really nice change!

    @thelittleloaf – Yes, it’s a very similar concept really. The creaminess of the potato works so well with the pesto.

    @SreeBindu – Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it :)

    @Julie – I’m hoping my stand mixer will start doing the washing up for me too…lol

    @Jennifer – The best thing about pizza is that I can kind of convince myself that it’s baking and not cooking ;)

    @Rachel – Sure, I’ll hop on a plane right now!

    @Sew Appetising – I’m really looking forward to more pizza now I’ve cracked it with my kitchen aid and lots of experimental toppings!

  16. OOOMMMMGGG.

    This is all kinds of wet dreams!

  17. Rosy Jess says:

    Have you seen Nigel Slater’s Taleggio & Thyme Pizza? It’s similar and incredibly yummy. May have to make this at the weekend!

  18. Andrew's Mom says:

    This looks delicious – I love potatoes and pesto! I make homemade pizza once every couple weeks – Andrew loves my crispy crust – he is not a fan of floppy crust. While I am a huge fan of yours – I dislike (I’m trying very hard not to use the word hate in my life) CSI — the acting is atrocious at least in the original or maybe it is just David Caruso that sours it for me – I love Criminal Minds however.

  19. cakeboule says:

    I love pizza – sadly I never do get to take a photo of one as I eat it – so bravo for actually getting some cool shots of yours – it looks great and kind of healthy too!

  20. Nina says:

    Oh this looks delicious…cant wait to try some:).yummy!

  21. The toppings on this are so great, Kathryn! I love to cook and to eat, especially pizza. This is perfect!

  22. Planning meals whilst working London jobs can be tough.. and turn you into a MONSTER.
    Ive learned to only cook meals that can easily be frozen (so either be cooked that night as planned but not eaten then, or just cook two meals the next night and freeze one). Otherwise I either turn into the crazy wife phoning Louis obsessively being like ‘you KNEW we were having chicken parmigiana tonight and YOURE IN THE PUB!?!?!?’ or I go get drunk myself and the next morning face a fridge full of food Im going to waste with a guilt inducing hangover and generally sense of self hatred.
    On a more positive note, your pizza looks SO good!! I love potatoes on pizza too!

  23. Elizabeth says:

    Pesto on pizza sounds so delicious!

  24. Lemon says:

    Lovely pizza, this looks so good and it changes from the ordinary, great.

  25. Ahhhhh! Loving these! And it definitely doesn’t help that it’s 1 in the morning over here, especially because I have the pizza dough sitting in the freezer and some pesto in the fridge. Hmmmm, I might just make this right now…

  26. Another absolutely delicious post!! Will defn try this one, perhaps even tonight to use up the end of our summer herb crop to make the pesto. Homemade pizza and a glass of Italian red has become something of a tradition in our house on a Friday night. I so love your description of fantasy you! I think I share the same little daydream, complete with a perfect manicure and 50s apron ; )

  27. london bakes says:

    @Bev – Hell yes.

    @Jess – I haven’t seen that pizza but it’s a great combination. I think pizza express used to do a pizza that had thyme and leeks and maybe taleggio on it that was awesome. Will have to try!

    @Andrew’s Mom – I was actually worried that this crust would turn out a bit floppy (which is why it’s slightly overbaked) but I was pleasantly surprised how crisp it was. I really want to watch Criminal Minds but I do fear getting sucked into another TV show…

    @Elizabeth – Thanks lovely!

    @CakeBoule – Lol, it was pretty hard because it smelt amazing!

    @Nina – Thank you!

    @Cassie – Thanks lovely :)

    @Em – Ah yes, I’m queen of the passive aggressive ‘are you in the pub’ text message…

    @Elizabeth – Thank you, it’s a really nice change from the usual.

    @Lemon – Thank you!

    @Chung-Ah – I think pizza at 1am is perfectly acceptable but then I would be happy to eat pizza at any time.

    @MulberryPomegranate – Friday night pizza is such a nice tradition!

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