Healthy veggies (like zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, squash, spinach and roasted beets) are nestled on top of a rustic (aka easy) pesto pizza. Topped off with fresh goat cheese or ricotta. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
Sometimes you don’t realize how much you love something, until it’s gone. While I suppose that’s a big broad statement that would hold true for many scenarios…my “something” is not in the grand scheme of things a life changer…but it’s been a pleasantry I’m going to miss deeply.
My apartment is in “the city” but in the “old” part of town. It used to be the main street in town until things started developing all around. Big companies like Microsoft and Google moved in, and the “downtown” part of the city has moved a few blocks from here.
My little street has somehow been able to maintain its old-time charm. It’s quaint, and lined with interesting boutiques, a chocolate shop, a French bakery, a traditional deli (with the biggest matzo balls I’ve ever seen! and live jazz/blues music on weekend mornings) and many restaurants (no chain restaurants, just local, unique spots to dine). An old wooden sign still welcomes you to this 4 block tree-lined (with twinkling white lights at night) slice of heaven, which backs right up to a beautiful park.
The park is an urban oasis. It has waterfalls, a ginormous rhododendron garden, and a walking/running trail that lines the park. In the summer there are concerts and July 4th fireworks. In the winter, when/if we get snow the park turns into a winter wonderland and kids (and adults... me included) build snowmen. The last snowstorm we had I counted more than 50 snowmen! At Christmas time there is even a skating rink.
My apartment has a birds-eye view of the park, and I look out on the lush green area and can see people running/walking around the trail. I can see the waterfalls, and the rhododendrons. I should say I USED to be able to see the park and all its fabulousness. Today, the new building that has been under construction for the past 6 mos., right in front of the park, and right in front of my view of the park, has reached a point that my view is obstructed.
I recently found out that it’s going to be a nine story apartment building ,so I guess that means it will just be a short while until I can no longer see the park at all. Boo hoo! I didn’t realize how much that little sliver of greenness meant to me. I know I can still walk the two blocks to the park and enjoy it, but it’s just not the same as being able to gaze out the window and view that beautiful little oasis in the city.
It’s times like this (depression- not really, but seriously bummed!) that you need some comfort food. Enter the rustic veggie pizza. “Rustic” is just another word for easy, because instead of tossing the pizza dough to form a perfect circle, you free form pieces of dough. It gives the pizza some character, because it’s going to be a lop sided, warm, crusty concoction loaded with pesto veggie goodness. You also get a chance to pound the dough ball a bit (good for taking out aggression over your park view being taken away…kidding…kind of).
I’m keeping things easy and using pre-made dough from Whole Foods (many grocery stores now carry fresh dough or frozen dough- either will work), and roasting up some red/yellow beets and adding of my favorite veggies like zucchini, squash, asparagus, and spinach.
This is a highly adaptable recipe. Feel free to substitute any of your favorite vegetables. It’s hard to beat roasted beets and veggies (or any kind) nestling on top of pesto pizza and finished off with fresh goat cheese.
Nom..Nom…I’m still bummed that my gorgeous view is being taken away, however, at the moment I am slightly distracted from the sadness by this comforting, easy, pesto pizza.
Bye, bye, little green park view…I will miss you!
Rustic Veggie Pizza
- 1 lb. fresh or frozen thawed pizza dough ball (avail. at most grocery stores) (bring to room temperature)
- ¼ cup prepared pesto sauce
- 2 cups chopped veggies I used roasted beets, asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes,red onion, spinach
- 2 Tablespoons fresh goat cheese or ricotta
- olive oil for brushing pizza
- Preheat oven to 425F., coat a non-stick cooking sheet with cooking spray.
- Divide dough ball into desired number of pizzas (2 small or 4 mini) . On a floured surface, pat dough into desired shape (round, oval, square).
- Spoon on desired amount of pesto sauce (leaving 1/2-1 inch rim around the edges).Top with chopped veggies. Brush rim of pizza with olive oil (to prevent burning).
- Cook 12-14 min. until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and top with goat cheese. Let cool 5 min. and serve.
I used roasted beets in this recipe- You can either purchase them already roasted or roast your own. Directions on how to roast here.