Umineko’s basil plant had seen better days. Its leaves were getting brown spots and the verdant green it started out with had turned into a peaked yellow-green with brown spots. I tried for days to talk myself into squinting just right and pretending it was the same vibrant shade of green that it started with was still there, but I had given up. Whether it was because the temperatures were getting too cold, not enough sun, or whatever else the unfortunate plant was not happy. I was beginning to think that basil isn’t up to the extremes of the cruising life. Well at least not with me. This basil plant was destined for Pesto. With a capital P. Or at least a severe pruning.
Now much to my chagrin, we don’t exactly have a food processor on board. What Sato San refers to the Magic Bullet mixer we have is “as seen on TV.” But sometimes you just have to make do.
I wasn’t really in the mood for pasta, but pesto works well in so many things. Sandwiches, wraps, appetizers, and of course pizza… that was it! Pizza! I’d had my first pesto pizza at one fantastic pizza place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I can’t remember the name of the place but it’s right off the Bedford L stop. Not an especially fancy place but open late and home to a phenomenal pesto pizza with whole cloves of roasted garlic and all sorts of deliciousness.
I know that pan-fried pizzas are more boat-friendly, but somehow there’s just something about an oven-baked pizza. Of course we didn’t have a wood-fired oven on board or even close to the right type of oven, but still. I wasn’t sure how often I’d be able to make pesto pizza, especially in lieu of the fact that my basil plant was looking peaked, and wanted to make a special pizza.
Everyone has their own favorite pizza toppings so I divided the pizza into three. After all, three of us on the boat, and there are three prongs of Poseidon’s trident hence Poseidon’s Pizza. Sato san got shrimp, salami; I put capers, feta, shrimp and tomatoes on mine, and Marion opted for feta, olives, and red bell peppers.
I’m still not quite sure how to get the crust thin enough for a New York style pizza, and I wouldn’t dream of stepping on the toes of some of the world’s finest pizzerias, but even with a thicker crust the pie wasn’t bad. Quite the reverse; pizza rarely comes out terribly, but this one was a huge success.
I highly recommend making pesto pizza, even with store-bought pesto, when you have the chance. I am a bigger fan than standard pizza with marinara. Give it a try and I would love to hear what you think.
Maybe you can get your crust thinner than mine…
Poseidon’s Pesto Pizza
- 1 recipe pesto sauce
- 1 recipe passagemaker pizza dough
- 1 ½ c Mozzarella cheese
- Black olives
- Whole cloves roasted garlic (precook a little while the oven is heating)
- Or your favorite toppings!
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Roll out dough and place on baking sheet or pizza stone
- Spread pesto on dough
- Sprinkle cheese on top
- Arrange toppings
- Place in oven
- Bake 30 min
- 1 ½ c basil
- ¾ c walnuts
- ½ c olive oil
- ¾ c grated parmesan
- 2 ½ T lemon juice
- 1 t salt
- 1 t ground pepper
- Put garlic and nuts in mixer followed by basil, liquids, and seasonings
- Pulse first and then blend until almost a paste.