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This healthy (and delish) pizza recipe is basically salad gone wild


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Photo: Andrea Bemis
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Dishing Up The Dirt
Photo: Harper Wave

Whether your hometown favors deep dish, thin crust, or stuffed, chances are that when you grab a slice at your local pizza joint, it’s bound to be greasy—and loaded with cheese.

For a pie that’s chock-full of veggies—and doesn’t require careful dabbing with a handful of napkins—look no further than this mint and pea pesto pizza, featured in Andrea Bemis’ new book, Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the SeasonsThink of it as a salad dressed up for the weekend.

The cookbook’s recipes are divided into seasons, and you can definitely count on Bemis to know what produce is at its peak: She and her husband have been living on a farm since 2008, when they quit their “normal jobs” to work as minimum-wage farm workers, eventually opening their own six-acre farm in Oregon.

“Now that I’m on the growing side of things, I’m way more open-minded about the ingredients available at the markets,” she says. Her pro tip: The best way to shop a farmers’ market is to go without a shopping list and just opt for what’s fresh.

Think of it as a salad dressed up for the weekend.

In that spirit of seasonality, Bemis crafted the recipe for this pizza using the best spring has to offer: radishes, peas, arugula, and mint. It will definitely tie you over until watermelon pizza season begins.

Ready to celebrate spring, one slice at a time? Keep reading for Bemis’ mint and pea pesto pizza recipe.

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Spring Harvest Pizza with Mint & Pea Pesto

Yields 1 pizza 

Ingredients
Mint & Pea Pesto
2 cups fresh shelled peas, blanched, or thawed frozen peas
6 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Pizza
1 ball of store-bought pizza dough
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh arugula
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Set aside three tablespoons of the peas and two tablespoons of the pine nuts to use as topping.

3. Make the pesto by combining the remaining peas with the mint leaves and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a paste begins to form. Add the salt, the remaining one-fourth cup pine nuts, and the Parmesan. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil, scraping down the sides.

4. Add the lemon juice, taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed.

5. Roll out your pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil over the dough and bake until it is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

6. Spread the pesto evenly over the surface, leaving about a 1-inch border. Evenly distribute the mozzarella and Parmesan, then the reserved peas and pine nuts.

7. Place the pizza back in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and the crust is a deep golden brown, four to seven minutes longer.

8. Let the pizza cool slightly. Top it with radishes, arugula, a drizzle of olive oil, the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and additional grated Parmesan.

Each week we spotlight a healthy-delish recipe that’s truly genius (and easy to make) from someone who’s wowed us in the food world. We’re talking buzzy cookbook authors and Instagram foodies to brilliant chefs. You can find more mouthwatering must-try ideas from the Recipe of the Week archive.

Whip up one of these healthy (but delish) sides to go with your pizza. And to make it a real party, serve it with some orange wine.