Summer calls for a lighter, fresher, more vibrant pizza. Earlier this week I splurged on some fresh mozzarella for my Kale Pesto Pasta and I wanted to make sure the rest of that delicious cheese didn’t go to waste. My first thought was Margherita pizza, but then I decided to do a little something different. Instead of topping this simple white pizza with thin ribbons of fresh basil, I made a small batch of zesty parsley pesto and drizzled it over top after cooking. OMMMGGGG. Best thing ever.
This parsley pesto is kind of a pesto-chimichurri-gremolata hybrid, but it’s super easy and because it’s such a small batch you don’t need a food processor or anything to make it. Just grab a knife, cutting board, bowl, and spoon. It only takes a few minutes and then you’ve got a super fresh drizzle of goodness. I even dribbled a little onto the leftover sliced tomatoes while the pizza was cooking and it made me weak in the knees. I think I need to make more just for dipping some crusty bread.
You can use any 14″ pizza dough for this recipe, but I would suggest something fairly light and crispy. I whipped up a batch of my Thin and Crispy Pizza Dough because it’s fast and easy, but made one pizza out of the batch instead of two so that it would be a little thicker. I also hand stretched the dough instead of rolling it, which makes it fluffy instead of crispy-crackery. But go with what you like.
White Pizza with Parsley Pesto Drizzle
White Pizza with Parsley Pesto Drizzle
Take your Marghertia pizza up a level with a drizzle of zesty parsley pesto. This white pizza is anything but boring.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.13
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced $0.50
- 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed $0.08
- 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.10
- 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
- Freshly cracked pepper $0.05
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional) $0.02
- 1.5 Tbsp lemon juice $0.07
- 3 Tbsp olive oil $0.39
- 1 14-16" pizza dough $0.60
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella $2.00
- 2 Roma tomatoes $0.50
In a very small bowl or dish, stir together 1 Tbsp olive oil and the garlic powder. Let the mixture sit and infuse while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
To make the parsley pesto, finely mince 1 packed cup of fresh parsley leaves (about 1/2 cup once minced). Add the minced garlic, grated Parmesan, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the mixture, starting with just 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 Tbsp olive oil, and adding more if needed to create a mixture that is loose enough to drizzle over the pizza. I used 1.5 Tbsp lemon and 3 Tbsp oil total, but this will depend on the volume of your minced parsley. Set the parsley pesto aside.
Move your oven's rack to the top position and begin preheating the oven to 500ºF. Thinly slice the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
Stretch or roll your pizza dough out to a 14-16" disc. Place it on a pizza pan or baking sheet*. Stir the garlic and oil, then brush a thin later over the entire surface of the dough, including the outer crust.
Arrange the tomato slices evenly over the pizza dough, then top with torn slices of mozzarella.
Bake the pizza in the fully preheated 500ºF oven for 10 minutes, or just until the outer crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, but not browned. After removing the pizza from the oven, drizzle the parsley pesto over top, slice into eight pieces, and serve.
You may want to coat your pizza pan or baking sheet with non-stick spray or a layer of cornmeal to help prevent sticking.
Step by Step Photos
Star by making the garlic oil so that the flavor has a little bit of time to infuse. In a very small bowl or dish, stir 1/4 tsp garlic powder into 1 Tbsp olive oil. Set the oil aside.
Next prepare the parsley pesto. First finely mince about 1 cup of packed parsley leaves (about 1/2 cup once minced), then combine the parsley with 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan, some freshly cracked pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional).
Starting with just 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 Tbsp olive oil, stir the lemon juice and olive oil into the parsley mixture. Add a little more lemon and olive oil until you get a mixture that is loose enough to drizzle. I used 1.5 Tbsp lemon and 3 Tbsp olive oil total, but this will depend on the total volume of your minced parsley. Set the pesto aside.
Move the rack in your oven to the top position and begin preheating the oven to 500ºF. Thinly slice 2 Roma tomatoes and 4oz. fresh mozzarella.
Stretch or roll your pizza dough out to a 14-16″ circle and place it on a pizza pan or baking sheet, then brush a thin layer of the garlic oil over the entire surface (stir the garlic in the oil first to make sure some of the garlic powder gets on the pizza as well).
Arrange the tomato slices over the surface of the pizza, followed by torn slices of the mozzarella.
Once the oven is fully preheated to 500ºF, bake the pizza for 10 minutes, or just until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted but not really browned (you don’t want to over cook the cheese to the point where it separates). After removing the white pizza from the oven, drizzle the parsley pesto generously over the surface.
Slice into eight pieces and enjoy the fresh taste of summer. :)