Saturday, July 28, 2012

Shrimp & Pesto Pizza

After coming back from four months of studying in Italy, I was forced to wean myself off of a diet that revolved around pizza, pasta, and gelato. This wasn't too difficult a task because, quite honestly, the pizza over here just does not compare. My all-too-tight jeans were also begging for a break from the carb overhaul, and my broke ass couldn't exactly afford to buy new pants. Now, I love pizza with just about every ounce of my soul and being, but I have come to the acceptance that it is something to be savored and enjoyed in moderation.

Every now and then I like to take a crack at baking a homemade pizza but the crust always seems to be too soggy/ thick/ chewy, etc. I've tried countless different dough recipes, all to no avail. Little did I know, it wasn't (totally) all my fault, it's really just a matter of how the dough is cooked.

Today while my mother and I were out shopping we picked up a pizza stone, which is said to cook a crust that is comparable to those baked in a wood fired oven. And let me tell you, it really makes a huge difference! I finally got the perfect thin, crunchy pizza crust that I've been striving for. So tonight I whipped up a whole-wheat pizza with pesto, cherry tomatoes (fresh from the back deck), roasted shrimp, and creamy goat cheese. For the pizza dough, I used a recipe from Moosewood Classics cookbook, which made enough for two 12-15 inch pizza crusts.

Pizza Dough


  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water (100-120 degrees)
  • 3 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 to 2 cups unbleached white bread flour for kneading

Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water and leave for 10-12 minutes until it starts to foam.

Stir the water mixture in with the flours, salt and pepper, and 2 tsp of the olive oil. If the dough is sticky, add more flour. Knead the dough for about ten minutes. Next, place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel, and set aside in a warm place to allow the dough to rise. It should take about 40-60 minutes for the dough to double in size. This will yield enough for two 12-15 inch pizza crusts. You can freeze leftover dough for later use.

You're now ready to make some pizza!

Shrimp & Pesto Pizza


  • 1 serving of above pizza dough recipe
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 6 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Place your pizza stone in the oven then turn the oven on to 450 degrees and allow the stone to preheat for 15-20 minutes. This prevents the stone from cracking- you don't want to put it through any drastic changes in temperature.

2. Meanwhile, roll out the pizza dough until you've reached your desired shape and thickness. For tonight's dinner, I made two long, skinny pizza crusts (morel like a flatbread pizza). Once the stone has heated, place your dough on top and bake in the oven for about ten minutes.

3. Mix the shrimp and cherry tomatoes in olive oil with a dash of paprika and some garlic powder, then roast in the oven for twenty minutes (you can do this at the same time that you have the dough in the oven).

3. Take the pizza crust out and top with pesto, goat cheese, and the roasted shrimp and tomatoes. Put back in the oven and allow the cheese to melt, for about 5-7 minutes.


{my cherry tomato plants that have found a home on our back deck}

Peace, love, and pizza. Now go invest in a pizza stone, my friends.


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