Basil Pesto Pizza

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
30 min
40 min

8 slices

  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 medium sweet onions, such as Vidalia, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons whole raw walnuts
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling, optional
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Sea salt
  • 4 cups roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
  • 1 cup finely chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 family-size unbaked pizza crusts, white or whole wheat
  • 3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes, then add the onions. Saute on low until the onions are browned and caramelized, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the walnuts and 1 cup of the oil and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic and 1 teaspoon sea salt and process until blended, about 1 minute. Add 3 3/4 cups of the chopped basil, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup for topping the pizza. Add the spinach and process until smooth, about 1 minute.

  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the olives and saute for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then add the balsamic vinegar and a little sea salt to taste.

  • To assemble the pizzas, place the pizza crusts on two sheet pans or large round pizza pans. Spread the pesto onto the crusts, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with the caramelized onions, tomatoes, reserved basil, and olive mixture. Garnish with a little grated Parmesan if you like. Bake until the crusts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Cook's Note: Using a pastry brush, I brush a tiny amount of olive oil around the pizza crust edges to make them extra brown and crispy!

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