Behold: shrimp and pesto pizza deliciousness.
Years ago, David and I ate at restaurants a lot. We were living in north central British Columbia (what’s up, Prince George?) and rather than stay home on the weekends, we often went out. Dinner and a movie was our thing.
One of our favourite spots was Earl’s – part of a chain of restaurants out west. I had my first sushi there – an ebi temp roll – that started a love affair that is going strong to this day – but I digress.
One of our favourtite entrées at Earl’s was their shrimp and pesto pizza.
It was a thin crust pizza, stretched to an irregular circle. It was loaded with shrimp and feta, with dollops of pesto drizzled across the circumference.
It was heaven on a crust.
When we moved to Nova Scotia, we left that pizza behind. (Along with good friends and a house with the biggest, shadiest trees in the backyard.)
But we often spoke about it. And one year, David requested that I make it for his birthday meal. So I did. And now, it is a blast-from-the-past, special treat that we make every so often.
I got the dough together and let it rise while I sautéed some shrimp in garlic butter, salt and pepper until they were pink and opaque.
While I peel the shrimp, I go ahead and taste one or three to make sure they are edible. Quality control is essential.
I spread the pesto across the crust. I am a pizza traditionalist in that I like my sauce spread out under all the toppings, but if you are more of a drizzler, like the chefs at Earl’s, go ahead and drizzle, my friends. (See, I’m a traditionalist but also a bit of a rebel.)
You can use homemade pesto if you’ve got it, but mine came from a jar. I added more lemon juice and garlic to jazz it up a little; bottled pesto has a little less oomph than fresh.
I sprinkled it with grated mozza and chopped sun-dried tomatoes and popped it into the oven to bake.
When there was only a few minutes left in the bake time, I removed the pizza and heaped on the shrimp and feta, then returned it to the oven to finish baking. This heated the shrimp and feta a bit, without overcooking the shrimp. Overcooked shrimp are a travesty.
Slice and yum.
And if you have a squeeze of fresh lemon? It just takes it over the top.
Et voila! One of our favourite pizzas. Bravo even tried a shrimp and declared it “good,” so chances are we will be sharing this lovely pizza before too long.
- your favourite pizza crust
- pesto sauce (fresh or from a jar)
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- approximately 30-40 medium shrimp (cooked, peeled)
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- fresh lemon for squeezing (optional)
- Spread pesto on dough
- Sprinkle with sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella
- Place in oven, follow baking instructions of your favourite crust
- Remove from oven 3 minutes before the end of cook time
- Top pizza with shrimp and feta cheese and return to the oven for remaining cook time
- Finish with fresh squeezed lemon, if desired
What is your favourite kind of pizza?