Looking for a way to use up a bunch of walnuts and herbs I had around, I stumbled upon this recipe on epicurious.com. It definitely used many of my favorite ingredients, and I had been wanting to make a walnut pesto for quite some time. Plus, I was making it for Mom and I, so I was happy to make it on a night when I would be getting a second opinion. I absolutely loved it and my mom loved it, too. The best thing, though, is that this very easy weeknight winner could also easily be served to company. Using the long slices of ciabatta makes a wonderful presentation and you could keep it simple by making the pesto ahead of time and just assembling the pizza at dinner time.
Ciabatta Pizza with Gorgonzola, Walnut Pesto, and Pearsfound on epicurious.com originally in Bon Appetit, September 2005Ingredients: 2 c. walnuts
1 c. olive oil
1/4 c. honey
2 TBSP chopped fresh thyme
1 loaf ciabatta bread (about 1 1/3 lbs.), halved horizontally10 oz. thinly sliced Havarti cheese6 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips2 pears, halved, cored, thinly sliced2/3 c. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese2 c. arugula
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Toast nuts on baking sheet until brown, about 6 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
3. Transfer hot nuts to processor. Add oil, honey, and thyme; blend until nuts are finely chopped. Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Place bread halves, cut side up, on baking sheet. Spread pesto over bread, about 1 cup per side. Top with Havarti. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 12 minutes.
5. Top with prosciutto, then pears and Gorgonzola. Tuck in arugula. Sprinkle with pepper.