Grilled Pesto Tomato and Mozzarella Flatbread Pizza is restaurant-worthy pizza that's so fast and easy to whip up any night of the week. It's ideal for hot summer nights because there's no oven required.
Don’t you love it when you find little treasures at the bottom of your freezer? I’m good at saving little scraps of things that can be useful and lifesaving. Like Parmesan cheese rinds to perk up soup or the ends of French bread to make fresh breadcrumbs.
And I always have a few bags of cranberries at the bottom of the freezer, and sometimes when I think there's nothing to eat, I spy a stray veggie burger that escaped its open box. Unfortunately, I’m also fairly guilty of freezer neglect, so I usually don’t find those things until years later. Eeek.
Every time I clean out the freezer, I vow to have a really good organizational system – frozen produce items on the left-hand side, meat or frozen meal items on the right side, shredded cheese and bread scraps in the top basket. But inevitably, there’s always something that doesn’t fit into my system, and all hell breaks loose, and suddenly it’s chaos in there.
While most of my treasures leftover crap eventually gets tossed because I’m never sure how old it is, or if it’s going to completely ruin a really good recipe, there is one thing that is like gold when I find it, and that’s pesto.
I make batches of pesto at the end of every summer when my basil is growing out of control, and I know I have to use it or lose it. It’s so easy to make, and it freezes beautifully. I just spoon it into ice cube trays or spread it on a sheet pan, freeze it and then transfer the pesto cubes or pieces into a freezer bag. Nothing tastes or smells more like summer in the middle of winter (or anytime) than pesto.
And here’s a little secret -- those frozen cubes of pesto will save the day when you're craving pesto eggs. They will also fancy up any weeknight dinner and make you the envy of all the girls on the block.
“Last night? Oh, I just threw together fettuccini with a pesto cream sauce.”
“Yum, how did you make this salmon?” “Oh, I just brushed it with some homemade pesto and grilled it.”
“Mmm, what am I tasting in this Mediterranean Vegetable Soup?” “It’s my secret ingredient – pesto.”
Even a basic turkey sandwich is zhooshed up with a pesto mayo and some fresh tomato slices. See what I mean? I don’t use it often, but when I find those little pesto packets, magic happens.
One of my favorite “fast food” dinners is this Grilled Pesto Tomato Flatbread Pizza. Ridiculously easy to make – I love it grilled, but a broiler works just as well.
How to Make Homemade Pesto
Homemade pesto is the BEST way to use up that extra basil from your garden. Put all these ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth. You can add more or less of any ingredient to taste.
- 4-5 cloves garlic peeled and quartered
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves washed and dried
- ⅓ cup good quality grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
If you happen to have mozzarella in your freezer (who doesn’t?) add a few slices. And if you have some garlic and herb-marinated bocconcini on hand, this is a perfect time to slice them up. If not, no worries, go naked.
Grilled Flatbread Pizza with Pesto Tomato & Mozzarella
- 1 piece of flatbread or naan bread about 10 inches long
- Olive oil (for brushing on bread)
- pinch kosher salt
- ¼ cup pesto homemade or store bought
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 2 ounces buffalo mozzarella sliced thin
- Heat a grill or broiler to high.
- Brush both sides of bread lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt
- Grill bread lightly on both sides, or heat under the broiler just until bread starts to warm and bubble. Do not let it get to brown.
- Remove bread from heat, and spread pesto on one side.
- Top pesto with sliced tomatoes, and add cheese if desired.
- Turn grill or broiler to low, return pizza to heat just long enough to heat ingredients through and let cheese melt. About 2-3 minutes.
What treasures do you usually find in your freezer?