homemade pizza: spinach pesto pizza with shrimp and goat cheese.

January 28, 2013

Filed Under : Food & Nutrition

The great thing about this pizza is that it provides a hearty dose of vegetables. The pesto is packed full of spinach–meaning it is packed full of nutrients. This nutrient-rich sauce serves as the pizza’s base. It is then topped with roma tomatoes and caremelized onions. For a protein punch, I added shrimp and the beloved goat cheese.
I first fell in love with the distinct, rich flavor of goat cheese when our good friend Michael, who worked on a goat cheese farm, did a wine and goat cheese tasting for Scof and me… In my opinion, it’s like the dark chocolate of cheese.

As much as I love the taste of this pizza dough, my first experience with it was not a good one….Though I would certainly call it a comical one. I had just bought the dough at the store, so it was at room temperature. I’m not familiar with the science behind pizza dough. Which may be surprising, considering I could tell you practically everything you would never want to know about the science behind baking cookies (thank you food science major!). But, I am pretty sure it is suppose to be chilled.

Every time I tried to spread it out, it just receded back together. So I tried to throw it in the air, like you’d see at restaurant. This did not work either. It just ripped holes in the dough that would not re-connect. As poor newlyweds, we don’t have a pizza roller, and my hands are not a good substitute (note to self). But…we do have a very large, round serving platter.

But, with the help of husband (who proudly claims credit for the idea) we flipped the serving platter over and began to spread the dough across the plate, forming it to the circular shape. It wasn’t until we went to transfer the dough to the pan that we realized adding some flour would have been helpful. Yes… the dough was stuck to the plate. So we then worked to peel it back while trying not to destroy 30 minutes worth of hard work.

We can’t quite say our first pizza was beautiful…but we can honestly label it delicious.

Spinach Pesto Pizza with Shrimp and Goat Cheese
  • one pre-made roll of pizza dough (pre-packaged is fine as well, if you like a thinner crust)
  • prepared spinach pesto, found here
  • 2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of small, salad shrimp (frozen)
  • 1 cup goat cheese
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
To start, preheat the oven to 400 F and heat oil in a pan. Add the minced garlic and cook about 2 minutes until it starts to lightly brown. Add the sliced onions and cook about 5 minutes, until they become translucent. Next, add the shrimp to the mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and basil. Cook for about 8 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through.
While the shrimp is cooking, flour a clean surface. Using a pizza roller, roll out the pizza dough to a circle the size of your choice. Spoon and spread spinach pesto onto the dough (just enough to provide an even base on the pizza). Once the shrimp mixture is ready, add it atop the spinach pesto. Cover the shrimp mixture with goat cheese and finish it off by adding the sliced tomatoes.
Add the pizza to your pre-heated oven, following the cooking directions for the pizza dough. Most dough will cook at 400 F for 18-20 minutes. Our oven is impatient, so it only took the pizza about 14 minutes to cook all the way through (and even blacken the bottom).

Bon apetit!

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