The flavors of the Mediterranean come alive in this homemade gourmet pizza. Pesto as the base lays the foundation for an amazing healthy-ish recipe. You’ll love the sweet taste of sun-dried tomatoes, the brininess of kalamata olives, the tanginess of feta cheese, the creaminess of fresh mozzarella, and of course the ground lamb that highlights it all.
It’s the simple things in life that seem to make me most happy. For instance, sitting and watching a football game with my husband while eating a fresh-out-of-the-oven homemade pizza. Or maybe settling in on a chilly Sunday afternoon to enjoy a TV series on Netflix, again with pizza and a glass of red wine.
And one of my new favorite pizzas is this homemade Mediterranean one. Check it out, I think it might become one of your favorites as well.
The Pizza Dough is Bedrock of a Fabulous Pizza.
You can have the best sauce in the world along with great ingredients for your pie, but if the crust is lacking, it affects the entire pizza adventure. The crust should be crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside. There are certain tricks that help create that perfect crust and I have included them in a post entitled “Homemade Pizza Dough By Hand – Crispy, Chewy Crust.”
A pizza sauce is worth its weight in gold and the most fitting for this Mediterranean pizza is by far a basil pesto sauce. Someday, I’ll include a homemade pesto recipe here on my blog, but today for convenience sake, I just grabbed a jar from the grocery shelf and spooned it onto the dough. When you’re looking for pesto, search the ingredients to make sure it is made with olive oil and not canola or something else.
Lamb is the quintessential meat for this Mediterranean Pizza. Lamb has an earthy taste and is slightly gamey but very tender. I made these into little balls from ground lamb and added a bit of cumin, coriander, paprika, and allspice. I fried them in a cast-iron skillet before placing them on the pizza. Because they were small it took only a little bit of time, a couple minutes on each side.
Kalamata Olives and Sundried Tomatoes – The true essence of the Mediterranean
The briny taste of kalamata olives is exactly what complements the other ingredients on this pizza. I go for the ones in the “olive bins” and scoop them out instead of opening a jar. I find they bring much more flavor that way. By all means, choose the pitted ones because why would we want to spend time pitting them ourselves? Pretty much any grocery store carries these olives in bulk. They’re usually located where the gourmet cheeses are.
The sundried tomatoes are best when packed in oil, preferably olive oil. Avoid the dry-packed ones. They don’t have near the flavor or softness. Make sure and grab the julienne cut, it makes life so much easier. They’re already chopped for you. All you have to do is drain and add to the pizza.
Can there be anything better than creamy fresh mozzarella and salty, tangy feta cheese on this pizza? It’s for sure the finishing touch of perfection. I add the cheeses after all the other ingredients because they’ll melt into all the crevices and create the ultimate cheesy outcome.
The spinach is added after the pizza comes out of the oven and gives it a fresh taste. The heat from the cooked pizza wilts the spinach a bit but not too much. Otherside, if you add it before it’s cooked, the spinach will blacken and turn into pretty much nothingness.
Pizza in any fashion is a gratifying food experience but this Mediterranean pizza takes eating to a whole new cuisine elevation. It has a gourmet flair about it that is definitely different but sophisticated. You’ll find that it’s simple to throw together and ready to eat in less than 30 minutes once the pizza dough has risen.
If you love this pizza, you’ll love my Chicken with Raspberry Jalapeño Sauce Pizza.Print
Homemade Mediterranean Gourmet Pizza with Pesto Sauce
The flavors of the Mediterranean come alive in this gourmet pizza. Pesto as the base lays the foundation for an amazing healthy-ish recipe. You’ll love the sweet taste of sun-dried tomatoes, the brininess of kalamata olives, the tanginess of feta cheese, the creaminess of fresh mozzarella, and of course ground lamb.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes (not including dough rising)
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 1 pizza 1x
- Category: Pizza
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
For the Lamb Meatballs:
- 1/2 pound of Ground Lamb
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon Coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
For the Pizza:
- One Ball of Pizza Dough (from this recipe)
- 1/2 cup Basil Pesto
- 1/2 pound Cooked Lamb Meatballs
- 1/3 cup Sundried Tomatoes (oil-packed), drained
- 1/3 cup Kalamata Olives, cut in half
- 4 ounces Fresh Mozzarella, cubed
- 4 ounces Feta Cheese, crumbled coarsely
- 1 cup Spinach Leaves, loosely packed
For the Lamb Meatballs:
- Add the ground lamb with spices in a medium-size bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Roll into small balls about 3/4 of an inch around.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and when hot add the olive oil. Place the lamb meatballs in the skillet giving space between them.
- Cook for about 4 minutes turning them a couple of times until they are browned.
- Remove from the pan and set aside for adding to the pizza.
For the Pizza:
- Preheat the oven to its hottest setting – 550°F is preferred (or as hot as your oven will go) and place a pizza stone in the oven to preheat as well.
- On a floured surface, flatten out the ball of dough. With a rolling pin, begin from the center and roll out in all directions until you have the desired thickness.
- Remove the pizza stones from the oven and sprinkle with cornmeal. Add the rolled out dough to the stone.
- Spoon on the pesto sauce to the rolled out dough and smear around leaving one inch of the outer crust free of sauce.
- Add the lamb meatballs, sundried tomatoes, olives, and the cheeses.
- Baked in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust and cheeses are both a golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and add the spinach. Slice and serve.
- The crust should be crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside.
- When you’re looking for pesto, search the ingredients to make sure it is made with olive oil and not canola or something else.
- Choose the pitted Kalamata olives in the “olive bins” and scoop them out instead of opening a jar. they have much more flavor that way.
- The sundried tomatoes are best when packed in oil, preferably olive oil. Avoid the dry-packed ones. Make sure and grab the julienne cut, it makes life so much easier since they’re already chopped for you.
- The spinach is added after the pizza comes out of the oven. If you add it before it’s cooked, the spinach will blacken and turn into pretty much nothingness.
- Serving Size: 1/3 of pizza
- Calories: 875
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 1663 mg
- Fat: 60 g
- Saturated Fat: 21 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 17 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 52 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 38 g
- Cholesterol: 64 mg
Keywords: pizza, homemade pizza, pizza dough, gourmet pizza