It was a warm Texas night, and the trio of musicians I was a part of while we lived in Austin was performing on the patio of a small restaurant in an open air mall. It happens sometimes, but not always, that when you play for an audience there is a collective magic in the air; a kind of flow that you ride for as long as you can until the show is over. This was one of those nights. The exchange between us as players felt effortless; the music that we made just seemed to hover in a perfect sweet spot the entire time we played. But my favorite memory of the evening came when an older couple began to dance the waltz to one of the songs we were playing. The pair moved gracefully, with the ease of experience, dancing all by themselves in an open area near the tables and chairs where most people were seated. For me, their spontaneous waltz was a complement of the kind that is unspoken, but never forgotten.
Like that musical trio, and like the three-quarter time of a waltz, good things often come in threes. The simple trio of pesto, prosciutto, and mozzarella on this pizza are the perfect complement to one another; if you have the pesto already made and the crust pre-baked, then it's practically effortless to put together. The best part, though, is in the sharing of it; like good music, sharing good food creates memories that remain with you long after the moment has passed.
Mustard Green Pesto & Prosciutto Pizza
whole wheat pizza crust
4 ounces or 1/4 cup mustard green pesto
6 ounces or 1-1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese
2 ounces prosciutto
Make the dough for the whole white wheat pizza crust, starting at least an hour and a half before you intend to bake the pizza. Place the pizza stone in the oven while it is cool, on the middle rack in the center of the oven.
Thirty minutes before you shape the dough for baking, while it rests on the counter, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF. When the oven is ready, shape the pizza dough following the directions from the whole wheat pizza crust recipe, and pre-bake for three minutes in the oven. Remove and place the crust on cooling racks so the crust doesn't become soggy, also removing the parchment paper from underneath the crust.
Spread the mustard green pesto evenly over the pizza crust, leaving the 1/2-inch rim around the edge of the crust bare. Tear the prosciutto into small pieces and place evenly over the pizza. Sprinkle the pizza evenly with the mozzarella cheese.
Place the pizza on a pizza peel and slide onto the pizza stone in the oven. Turn the oven to the broil setting and cook until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is starting to brown slightly. Remove from the oven and place on a heat-proof surface. Cut into eight slices and serve.
Makes one 14-inch pizza