Pesto Pizza with Mushroom, Kale and Olive

Grocery day is a good day. Fridge is full; spirits are high.

Some cooks are inspired by the sight of a near empty fridge. With only three or four obscure ingredients left and a lot of creativity, these talented individuals can whip up delicious dishes like magic. Me? Not so much.

While I enjoy a good challenge as much as the next person, my favourite day to get creative in the kitchen is undoubtedly grocery day. I love to see my cupboards stacked high, my fruit bowl beaming and my fridge full of freshness.

This pizza was born on a recent grocery day and I feel no shame in saying its perfection is largely due to me having my pick of ingredients from my grocery day haul. What’s creative about it? None of these ingredients were intended for pizza.

That basil pesto and those Kalamata olives? For a pasta dish later in the week. The cremini mushrooms? The mozzarella? I love a good mushroom omelet for Saturday brunch and we all need a little cheese as sandwich glue, right? And the kale? General healthfulness, of course.

The beauty of this pizza is its wonderful balance of texture, flavour, colour. The fragrant pesto is a welcome base for the earthy lushness of the mushrooms, the assertive saltiness of the olives and the crispy-light kale (it develops a wonderful crunch in the oven). Top it all off with mozzarella and lunch or dinner is served.
Top base with pesto.
Add mushrooms.
And mozza. Finish with a few good grinds of black pepper.
Bake in a hot oven according to pizza dough recipe or package instructions until crust is golden and crunchy and cheese is hot and bubbling. Eat immediately!

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