Caprese French Bread Pizza

This easy and flavorful pizza really shows off the bright flavors of ripe tomatoes and fresh basil.

Yield: 8 appetizer servings/4 entree servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 12 minutes

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
1/2 cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup pine nuts, almonds OR walnuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black fine grind pepper

1 loaf French OR Italian bread, halved lengthwise
10 ounces (about 2 cups) fresh grape OR cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tub (8 ounces) fresh ciliegnine mozzarella, drained (OR, cut larger fresh mozzarella into 1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
Fresh basil leaves for garnishing
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Puree pesto ingredients in a food processor until well blended. 

Place bread halves cut-side up on a baking sheet lined with foil.  (Crumple foil under edges of bread, if needed, to prevent tipping).

Spread pesto evenly onto bread surface.  Top with tomatoes and mozzarella. Sprinkle with shredded Italian cheese and place in oven.  Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until cheeses melt and brown slightly.  Transfer to cutting board; garnish with sliced fresh basil leaves. Slice and serve immediately.

Recipe note:  Try grilling these delicious pizzas. This topping is also great on ciabatta bread, baguettes, focaccia or precooked pizza crusts.