It’s a Pizza Party!

by angelika on September 19, 2010

We hosted movie night on Friday. 10 kids and their moms, and a date with Madagascar. It’s not always easy to devise a menu that satisfies the 3 year old crowd and the moms at the same time. We served pizza, everyone’s favorite. I used a combination of homemade and store bought ingredients to make the preparation easy- and we ended up having a great time with the perfect amount of food.

We served two kid friendly pizzas and a mom friendly flat bread. I will let you in on a little secret, I find yeast a bit mysterious. I have had a few runs making bread, and it does turn out okay, but it always takes longer to rise that I was promised, and the loaf is smaller than I thought was worth the effort. So my favorite time saving trick is to buy store made pizza dough. For $1.29 someone at Trader Joes went through all the effort for me. They even have whole wheat pizza dough, which this natural ingredient loving mom really appreciates.

For the adults we served my all time favorite flat bread. Fig and Gorgonzola Flat Bread. I didn’t get any great pictures of the flatbread, so you will have to take my word that it is thoroughly divine. 
unfortunately this is the only picture I took of the flatbread 

Fig and Gorgonzola Flat Bread

1 whole wheat pizza crust
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp garlic, finely diced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely diced
3-4 oz gorgonzola crumbles
2 scallions finely chopped
Press and stretch crust onto a buttered half sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil on the crust and then sprinkle with garlic and rosemary. Spread the fig jelly onto the crust leaving an inch around the edges. Sprinkle the gorgonzola crumbles over the flatbread and bake at 450º for 15 minutes. At about 12 minutes take the flatbread out of the oven and sprinkle the scallions over top. Return to oven and cook for 3-5 minutes depending on how done the crust looks. Take from oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. One of the best things about this flatbread is how great it tastes at room temperature. So if your guests don’t eat right away they are still getting a wonderful dish. 
The two kid pizzas I made were a whole wheat pesto with four cheese blend, and a traditional cheese pizza. The cheese pizza was a semolina crust, trader joes pizza sauce, and mozzarella cheese on top. Could not be easier. You take the dough out of the fridge 20 minutes before you want to use it. Butter a half sheet pan, and stretch and press the dough until it fills the pan. Then spread with sauce, sprinkle cheese and bake at 450º for 15 minutes. 
ready to go into the oven

For the Pesto Pizza I use whole wheat dough, and a homemade pesto sauce. I don’t like the pre-made pesto at TJs as it has canola oil in it, which I never use. That added to the fact that basil is in abundance this time of year, and home made pesto is so much better than store bought; I took the extra 5 minutes and whipped up my own. 
Pesto Sauce
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 small garlic cloves, pressed
5-6 cups basil, leaves only
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
fresh pepper to taste 
1 cup fresh grated parmesan
Toast your nuts on medium heat in a pan until fragrant and golden. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the steel S blade. Process the nuts until they are a fine meal. Add to the nuts the garlic pressed through a garlic press and the basil. You want the basil to fill the top of the processor loosely packed. 
Give it a good stir and then process, stirring at least once, until you have a paste. Add salt and pepper to the paste. Add the lemon juice and pulse. Put the lid on and with the processor running you drizzle the olive oil through the feed tube until it is combined. Add your parmesan and pulse. Taste for salt and pepper and use immediately- or save for a week in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. 
I used this pesto as the base for the second pizza with a four cheese blend called Quattro Formaggio from Trader Joes. Again, bake at 450º for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese bubbly. 
finished pesto pizza ready to serve
Come back tomorrow for the recipe for my all time favorite salad and the asian pear turnovers I served for dessert! 

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