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Pesto chicken pizza, fresh from the oven
Submitted by Pesto Chicken Pizza

Pesto Chicken Pizza


The perfect light summer pizza
This pizza is best made in the height of summer, when the basil is robust and the tomatoes are big and juicy. It's a light pizza without too much cheese, but big on flavor. I like to use a homemade whole wheat dough for it, but it can be made with a variety of crusts."

Ingredients

1 tablespoon chopped walnuts or pine nuts
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced and divided
1/4 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 sprig of parsley, roughly chopped (optional)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of parmesan or robusto cheese, grated and divided
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the pan
A pinch of salt
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
1 recipe pizza dough or store-bought pizza crust or pita bread
1 medium tomato, sliced thinly
1/2 a white onion, sliced very thinly
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or sliced fresh mozzarella cheese


Instructions

Prepare enough pizza dough for one 14 inch pizza.  You can also make this on pita bread, for individual pizza snacks.
While the dough is rising, make the pesto:
In a 350 degree oven, toast the chopped walnuts or pine nuts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant.  Let cool.
Mince the garlic.  Of this garlic, place about a teaspoon in a small bowl.  Reserve the rest for the pizza.  Add the chopped basil leaves and sprig of parsley to the bowl.  Add a tablespoon of the parmesan cheese and the olive oil to the bowl.  Finely chop the toasted nuts and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt.  Stir the mixture together with a spoon until well blended, or use a mortar and pestle to puree the mixture.
Slice the cooked chicken breast into thin slices, then slice those slices so that you have bite-sized 1/2 inch squares.  It’s important to have the pieces bite-sized so the pizza’s easy to eat.  Add the chicken to the bowl and stir so that the chicken is coated in the pesto mixture.  Let it marinate, covered, in the fridge until you’re ready to make the pizzas.
Start preparing the rest of the toppings. 
Preheat the oven to 450.  Grease a cookie sheet, pizza pan, or place a pizza stone in the oven.
Briefly knead the dough and let it rise again while the oven preheats.  When the dough is ready, spread it onto your pizza pan, trying to get it even.  Sprinkle the minced garlic and onion slices on the dough.  Evenly cover the dough with both cheeses, then scatter the tomato slices over it.  Top with the pesto chicken.  Bake for 8-15 minutes, depending on the type of pan you used (more for the pizza stone, less for a thin cookie sheet).  It’s ready when the crust is crispy and is starting to brown if you lift it from the pan with a spatula.  Let cool for a minute or two and slice.

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Servings

2 generous servings or 4 moderate servings

Nutritional Information
Per Serving

180 calories per slice (assumes 8 slices)


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