My building is in the process of fixing up the backyard and making it useable. This week we finally got a table and chairs for it. Yesterday, on my way to the farmers market I decided it was time to christen it and invite a couple friends over for a little get together. The original idea was just to drink beer, nothing fancy but then again that’s not really my style. I remembered I had some pizza dough in the freezer so I decided to make some pizzas to go along with the drinks. I had basil and garlic scapes so I decided to make a pesto white pie and I picked up some cherry tomatoes and made a margarita pie. I had these great strawberries from the farmer’s market and lots of basil so of course I thought cocktails! It was a really lovely evening. I am looking forward to many many more. I am actually sitting outside writing this…ah summertime.
Basil and Garlic Scape Pesto
This makes much more than is needed for some pizzas. It should be enough for a pound of pasta.
3 garlic scapes cut into inch long pieces
1 1/2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup almonds toasted in a pan until they just start to brown
Salt and pepper
Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Taste and season as required.
Cherry Tomato Sauce
1 clove of garlic minced
1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
6 basil leaves torn
Saute garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.
Cook until tomatoes start to break down, about 15-20 minutes.
You can find the recipe for the dough here. And the good news is it freezes well.
I grilled the pizza dough on a grill pan and finished them in the oven. If you have a grill you can grill the pizzas on it. Cook one side, flip and add topping until pizza is cooked and cheese is melted.
For the pesto pie I spread pesto on the dough and topped with shredded mozzarella.
For the tomato pie I used the cooked cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, basil and shredded mozzarella.
Strawberry Basil Cocktail
This makes a few drinks for a few people.
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 cups strawberries, trimmed and cut in half
10-15 basil leaves
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup lime juice
Set aside a handful of strawberries and 6 basil leaves for garnish.
Bring water, sugar, strawberries and basil to a boil. Cook until the strawberries start to lose their color. Refrigerate to cool.
Strain liquid and combine with the remaining ingredients. Serve over ice.