‘Bilisan mo ah,’ My younger brother issues the same statement each and every time he accompanies me to the supermarket.
And I respond, half-jokingly, ‘How dare you command your older sister to hurry up!’ We haven’t even started going around the place yet and here he is, telling me to grab and go as quickly as I can. And if there’s anything he ought to know by now, it’s that I hate being rushed when I’m in a favourite place of mine, chief among them: book stores and supermarkets.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person in the world who finds looking through neatly stacked shelves of interesting food products in a supermarket rather… educational. And oddly therapeutic. Just like how history buffs enjoy looking through exhibits in a museum, as someone who likes to experiment in the kitchen I guess it only makes sense that I find some fascination in being in a place surrounded by food products and possible ingredients.
I often make mental notes of which supermarket has what unique ingredient, or take photos on my phone of something interesting I may want to include in my pastries or dishes in the future. I list down brands and prices on my phone, compare them with each other, read the labels. The whole shebang. I like to call this a form of food research.
After all, if not for this particular penchant of mine, I wouldn’t have discovered the bottled pesto I slathered over these tortilla pizzas to give them some added pizzaz!
This is my first time trying out a Filippo Berio pesto, but instead of going for the regular green one, I decided to buy their Sun-dried Tomato Pesto. This is a UK-based brand with its most popular product being its olive oil. This jar cost me Php 250+ but then I read the list of ingredients and understood why: Sun-dried tomatoes (40.2%), sunflower oil, fresh basil (8.8%), tomato pulp, extra virgin olive oil, cashew nuts, Grana Padano cheese, white wine vinegar, red beetroot, salt. Sun-dried tomatoes don’t come cheap, frankly speaking.
I was in the supermarket with the goal of buying regular pesto for this recipe, but right beside the bottle I was about to grab was this bright red jar practically begging me to notice it. Given my track record with tomato-based sauces I thought it wouldn’t be too much of a risk to purchase this. I mean, I’ve had my fair share of bad pestos in my life, but surely a prolific brand like this one wouldn’t disappoint.
That is, unless it turns out to be horrible. Occupational hazard of a food blogger I guess…
This pesto turned out to be quite good! On its own the flavour is really bold and intense. Maybe most people would even describe it as too salty, but that to me only means that it’ll become balanced once you mix it into pasta, or in this case, this tortilla pizza recipe!
And by the way, just thought I’d get it out there anyway that this ain’t a sponsored post. My blog is good for spazzing about products I actually bought and love on my own right?
I got this pesto from the International aisle at SM Supermarket, but I think the best supermarkets to find unique ingredients (and this is just based on my own experience) are Rustan’s and The Landmark. They have soooo many interesting items from all over the world, and sometimes they can be a bit pricey, but you have to measure the price versus the quality, as my Dad always says.
I think for anybody who is developing a love for cooking and baking, it does help to be curious and attentive when in the supermarket. I’m grateful that I started having this attitude since I started food blogging, if not I probably wouldn’t have noticed half the ingredients I have managed to bake with so far. I’ve discovered marzipan, frozen puff pastry, and phyllo sheets, and I’m sure that’s only the beginning! As more international products get introduced into the local market, my chances of getting to try them grows. And at the same time, more local companies produce their own versions as well. I would love to buy local as much as I can. I’m excited!
Now let’s talk about the recipe, because clearly the discussion about pesto and supermarkets is getting out of hand!
First thing you have to know is just how easy this pizza is. You don’t actually have to make it on a tortilla if you don’t want, but I was in the “mood” for the crunch and the size of the tortilla so that’s what I used.
So you start out by making this Homemade Tortilla recipe (or buying if you really must!) and then spreading your pesto on top. Obviously you can make this with any pesto, store-bought or homemade, that you like. Before spreading, make sure to let majority of the oil drain from your spoon so it doesn’t turn your crust soggy.
Now add your mushrooms and your cooked shrimp (briefly boiled in salted water). I used shiitake but if you want to use button mushrooms then be my guest! The beauty of pizza is how much you can customize it to your liking.
Finally add your cheese. Generously. Everybody hates pizzas short on cheese.
And that’s pretty much it! Repeat this on your other pieces of tortilla, then pop in the oven at 350°F/180°C for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is glorious and melted. The tortillas should also be crisp by this time.
You can substitute the toppings as you please- like the shrimp for bacon or prosciutto- but since I’m trying to follow our Lenten tradition of no pork/beef/chicken for the week we’re going the seafood and veggies route.
Shrimp and Mushroom Pesto Tortilla Pizzas
Makes 4 tortilla pizzas
- 4 6 to 8-inch homemade or store-bought flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup pesto sauce of choice
- 4 pieces fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 3/4 cup small shrimp, shelled, deveined, and boiled briefly in salted water*
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- basil or cilantro, for garnish
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Place flour tortillas on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- 2. Spread about 1-1/2 Tablespoons pesto sauce on each tortilla, making sure to let the oil from the pesto drip from the spoon before placing on the tortilla. This is to prevent tortillas from getting soggy or too oily.
- 3. Arrange the sliced mushrooms and shrimp on the tortillas. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
- 4. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has fully melted and the tortilla is crisp. Take out from oven and sprinkle with basil or cilantro. Slice each tortilla into four wedges then serve immediately while hot.**
** These tortilla pizzas can also be cooked in a toaster oven or turbo broiler. Adapted from Yummy Magazine October 2013
You can also check out my other equally awesome Lent-friendly pizza pick: Sweet Chilli Salmon and Mango Tortilla Pizzas. These two pizzas can be some pretty great Easter table additions, if I do say so myself. HAPPY EASTER! 🙂