Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Serving Up {Pizza}: Pizza with Tomato and Basil

A few weeks ago I found myself needing to begin preparing dinner without really a menu idea in mind.  With it being late summer, and with plenty of fresh produce in the garden and the orchard, I determined that I wanted to make something utilizing all the yummy options outside my back door.  We ended up having two very different pizza's that night and they both turned out delicious.  I am sharing both recipes this week in hopes that maybe you still have some fresh ingredients of your own to utilize.

The first recipe is pretty standard fair at many pizza parlors - a tomato and basil topped pizza.  In my case I used Roma tomatoes because that is what I had ripe on the vine, along with basil picked from the plant right as it went onto the pizza.  It could not get any fresher and the delicious flavor was evidence of the perfect ingredients.  In fact, the pizza was so yummy that I made it again only a few days later.  What can I say?  I had a lot of tomatoes!

I also have to put a plug in here for buying fresh mozzarella (the kind that comes in a ball that you have to grate yourself and it makes a mess when doing so) whenever you are making homemade pizza.  It tastes better, it melts better and the pizza will thank you.

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printable version

1 ball favorite prepared pizza dough (I love Trader Joe's)
corn meal
Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly (1/4 inch)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup packed fresh basil, cut chiffonade-style

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place pizza stone in the oven to get to temperature.

Roll out pizza dough into a 12-inch circle on a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with corn meal.  Drizzle olive oil over pizza dough.  Sprinkle mozzarella over the top of the dough.  Arrange tomato slices over cheese.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over tomatoes, then basil and garlic.  Remove pizza stone from oven and carefully slide prepared pizza onto pizza stone.  Place in preheated oven and bake until crust is baked through and cheese is melted, approx. 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and generously sprinkle with salt to taste.

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