The first time I tried this combo was on a whim and a tortilla crust. I'd never made anything with avocados and artichokes, but it seemed the creamy, rich avocado would be either terrible or fabulous with the briny meatiness of the artichoke hearts. Happily, it was the later. Artichokes and avocados, allies of alliteration, are also allies on the plate. The strong brininess is mellowed by a touch of creaminess, making for very happy little taste buds. And since the artichokes have such a strong salty flavor, there is no need for extra lemon juice to brighten up the avocado. A perfect pairing (more alliteration...huzzah!)
Yes, my pesto is in a shot glass. The small surface area reduces the amount of browning. That's some foodie smarts, right there.
Now I don't know about you, but I love uniformly colored pizzas. White, red or green, they're such a pretty little diversion from the multi-colored splashes of most pies. It's almost as if they have this regal air of sophistication, such as dressing entirely in white at a resort or all blue for Halloween (nothing says sophisticated like Papa Smurf). So I was only too happy to embrace my favorite color and turn this into a little green goddess pizza. Fresh chopped spinach adds an extra boost of vitamins and minerals while delicious basil pesto adds its amazing garlic flavor to the dish. The end result has so much flavor from the artichokes and pesto that all you need is a little sprinkling of pepper to bring it all together - no extra seasonings required.
Artichoke Avocado Pesto Pizza (2 individual pizzas or 1 12-inch pizza)
- 1/2 recipe Easy Pizza Crust
- 2 tbs Basil Pesto (or store bought)
- 2/3 c spinach, chopped
- 2/3 c artichoke hearts, drained
- 4 oz (1 1/3 c) shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
- 2 tbs toasted pine nuts
- 2 tbs green onions, sliced into rounds
Place a pizza pan or pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with cornmeal and shape your dough into one large crust or two individual crusts (tin foil works too if you're out of parchment). Spread each crust with one tablespoon of pesto, then sprinkle with the chopped spinach and artichoke hearts. Top with shredded mozzarella.
When the oven is hot, transfer the pizzas and the parchment paper directly onto the pre-heated pizza stone or pan. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees and bake for 6-8 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and bubbling. Remove the stone/pan from the oven. Lay the sliced avocado on top of the cheese, then garnish with the toasted pine nuts and green onions. Slice and serve hot.