Pizza with Duck Ham, Feta and Pesto Recipe:
An absolutely thin crust, guilt-free tortilla pizza with homemade pesto, feta, duck ham and tomatoes.
Pizzas are not meant to be unhealthy always, that’s yet another learning I carried home from our dinner at Akira Back. Remember the Salmon Pizza, lip smacking and refreshing, well let me not get carried away. So now that I’ve made it obvious that I am still hung on the fantastic dinner I need not elucidate reasons for my take on a healthier pizza at home. The inspiration got me cooking the Speghetti with prawns and shemiji mushrooms yesterday and today I turned our favourite dish ‘the pizza’ into its healthier incarnation.
This absolutely thin and crispy crust pizza with a slather of a homemade pesto, topped with duck ham, tomatoes, only some feta was such a delicious take on pizza that you can have one every day without any guilt. So a guilt-free pizza that is and yet equally, deliciously indulgent, thus serving my pluviophile cravings. ‘’Pluviophile” is a new learning too, it refers to ‘a lover of rain; someone who find joy and peace of mind on rainy days,’ that’s so me.
Ps:- A pot of blooming Basil plant on my terrace came handy for the recipes, it super easy to grow, take a look at the pic at the end of this post.
Also the bird’s eye chilies that I bought from Foodhall are super hot, so just skip it if you like. And again a true pesto would call for pine nuts but I had none on me, so replaced it with walnuts and it worked quite well too.
Ingredients (Makes 2 , 9” thin crust Pizza, Serves 2-3):
- 2 tortilla bases, 9 inch each, try Salsalito available at gourmet stores
- 7-8 thin Duck Ham slices, aprox 150 gms
- 100 gms Feta
- 2 small tomatoes, cut into chunky half moons
- 1 tsp dried bird’s eye chillies, optional or replace with 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Extra virgin olive oil
For the Pesto:
- A cup full basil leaves
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 4-5 kernels of walnuts, replace with 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp good
- Salt & Pepper
- Add the basil leaves and garlic into an electric blender and blend to combine, then add the walnut kernels and olive oil and pulse a couple of whizzes again. Finally dress with salt pepper and add the cheese and give it another whiz.
- Now preheat the oven to 220OC.
- On a heated gas grill just heat the tortilla bases to get slight golden grill marks and place them on the work surface.
- Place the cut tomatoes over the hot grill, drizzle some olive oil on top and sprinkle coarse salt. Let it cook for a minute on each side, only until it just starts to soften and gets some grill marks.
- Evenly slather each tortilla base with the prepared pesto, 2 tsp on each base should suffice. Roughly tear the ham and scatter on top, follow up with grilled tomatoes and feta.
- Scatter the bird’s eye chillies, if using, drizzle some olive oil on top and sprinkle coarse sea salt. Bake on the high shelf for 5-6 minutes until the base is slightly browned on the sides. Keep a close eye, for I just walked out of my kitchen for a jiffy and burnt one of the pizzas (some kitchen accident every now & then).
- Serve immediately topped with some fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of dried herbs of choice.
Dos and Don’ts:
- An authentic pesto calls for pine nuts and not walnuts, but mine turned out not bad either.
- As already said, keep a close eye while it is in the oven to avoid burning.
- Infact this can be done over a hot pan on the stove, completely heat the pan, place the pizza and reduce the flame to simmer and cover for 5-6 minutes and it should be done.
- Use the regular ham, or even try chorizo if you prefer.