Monday, January 30, 2006

Holy Basil, Batman!

Once again, I made a compulsive purchase at the local produce stand: Basil. Now, this did not appear to be your everyday 'wonderbread' varietal. But what was it? I wondered "Could this, in fact, be HOLY basil?" Hmmm, curious.
I took it home, carefully washed it, and studied this herb to determine its species. It had a strong, yet sweet anise aroma, and bright, purple stalks. Well, that was the dead give away. This was not THE holy basil, but, in fact, Thai basil. Don't be saddened by the news. Though the adorning presence of such sacred herbatude would have been a treat, I was equally pleased with this humbled relative.
No matter, I figured it would be fun to turn it into a pesto. Traditionally, Italian round leaf basil is used when making a pesto (an obvious statement, considering the origin of pesto itself), but the Thai basil lended a whole new dimension of flavor to the pesto, and the results were well received.

That made about 1 1/2 cups of pesto. Isn't it purdy?

After de-stemming, washing, and stuffing it into a food processor, the blended results are about half the quanitity one might expect.

Pesto Pizza

1 bag of pre-made Trader Joe's Pizza dough (garlic & herb variety)
1 1/2 cups pesto (recipe below)
1 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
1 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 large red bell pepper, julienned and roasted
2 chicken breast pieces, lightly seasoned*
olive oil
salt & pepper

3 bunches of basil
1/2 cup of roasted pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Pesto: Blend in food processor until creamy.

Pizza: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
-Flour your surface, hands, and any other part of your body that may come in contact with the dough. I used a cookie pan and rolled the dough out to completely cover the bottom.
-Spread the pesto on the dough to coat. Sprinkle half of the cheese, roasted bell pepper, artichoke hearts, and chicken
-Sprinkle the last of the cheese and some extra pine nuts, throw it in the oven for 20 minutes, and prepare your taste buds.

*I seasoned the chicken with a bit of italian blend seasoning, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Then I threw it in a foreman grill, let it sit to cool, and diced it up.


At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

Yummmm! This looks really good and I bet even Alyssa will eat it.


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