My husband and I go out to dinner for Valentine's Day, but it can't always happen on the 14th. As our life has gotten more hectic, the need for special nights at home instead of always going out has increased. Our favorite romantic dinner at home is Chicken Wellington and Tomato Bisque soup, but we also love to have gourmet homemade pizzas. This Pesto pizza from the Sisters Cafe is my favorite for a quiet night at home with a gourmet pizza for me and my sweetie. Oh, and those four rowdy boys? They get a cheese and pepperoni pizza to eat in front of a favorite movie. So grab those candles, roses, and chocolate fondue for a special night in, and you may not miss that favorite restaurant! This recipe can also be found at Made from Scratch.
Prepared pizza dough - click here for bread machine recipe or see recipe that follows)
Pesto (use homemade recipe that follows or use favorite store bought to save time)
Feta cheese (4 oz)
Red onion slivers
Grilled lemon chicken pieces
Tomato slices (1-2 tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized pieces)
Pine nuts to sprinkle over top
Preheat pizza stone in 400 oven. Roll out prepared pizza dough and place on pizza stone. Top pizza dough with ingredients in order. Bake in 400 oven for 18-20 minutes until browned and bubbly.
Pizza Dough (from Sisters Cafe)
1 cup very warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 scant Tbsp yeast
3 Tbsp oil
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
Dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and float for 1 minute. Stir in yeast and proof (let it sit) for 10 minutes. Yeast should foam. Stir in oil, salt and flour and knead for 10 minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours. (I like to rise my dough in a warm, enclosed place, like my microwave or in my oven that I have barely preheated).
Perfect Pesto (from Barefoot Contessa)
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 Tbsp diced garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cup good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl and process until the pesto is finely pureed. Add the parmesan and puree for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the fridge or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top. Makes 4 cups.