Fresh From the Garden: Basil Pesto Pizza

| June/July 2008

Makes one 12-inch pizza

Here are two of my favorite ways (pesto and pizza) to enjoy basil at the height of its culinary powers—fresh from the garden in high summer.

• 1 (10-ounce) prepared pizza dough or crust
• 3/4 cup prepared Lemon Basil Pesto Sauce
• 1 cup shredded smoked Swiss or smoked cheddar cheese (a Swiss-heavy mix is great)
• 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 1/2 to 2 cups sliced firm tomatoes (about 5 Roma-style tomatoes)
• 1 cup finely chopped Japanese eggplant
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 sweet red pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
• 1/3 to 1/3 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Spread pesto evenly over prepared dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.Sprinkle with both cheeses. Arrange tomato slices over entire pizza.

2. Toss eggplant with olive oil. Top pizza with eggplant, red pepper and olives.Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden crisp and cheese is bubbly.

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