Saturday night is often pizza night around here. It rarely starts with a plan. I put the dough on the night before and when dinner time rolls around, we just see what’s around that’s interesting to throw on the pizza.
An easy heirloom tomato pizza recipe, perfect for Summer pizza nights.
This week, the fridge was unusually bare, but I did have a small surplus of heirloom tomatoes around. (I had found a great deal on a small basket this week!) I also had a ton of fresh basil. Add to it a bit of garlic, some Parmesan and a splash of balsamic and this pizza was born.
I knew I’d have to break from my usual pizza-baking routine to deal with all these tomatoes to prevent a soggy pizza. I did a couple of things. After I cut the tomatoes, I left them to sit on some paper towel for a bit, just to soak off some of the liquid. I also pre-baked the pizza crust a bit, before putting the tomatoes on. It turned out really well!
You definitely don’t want to over-load the top with tomatoes. Make sure you place them in a single layer, not over-lapping and leave a bit of space in between.
It was a bit of a treat to be able to use heirloom tomatoes for this. They baked up with a great, rich tomato taste, so there was no need for pizza sauce on this one. If heirloom tomatoes aren’t available, romas would be a good alternative. I think this would be nice with a bit of fresh mozzarella on top, as well.
- Your favourite pizza dough (I love Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza dough)
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (or so, enough to generously cover the crust, leaving an inch free around the outside)
- 3 Heirloom or other nice ripe tomatoes
- Balsamic vinegar
- Fresh Basil, for garnish
- Place pizza stone in oven on the centre rack, and pre-heat to 480° F. for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice your tomatoes and place in a single layer on a double sheet of paper town. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let sit. Mince garlic and combine with the olive oil. Set aside
- When oven is pre-heated, sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with a bit of cornmeal and shape your pizza dough into a round. Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil/garlic mixture. Transfer the parchment paper and dough to the pizza stone and bake about 10 minutes, or until the dough is set. Carefully remove from the oven (with the parchment). Sprinkle the top of the dough with the Parmesan and place the tomatoes in a single layer on top.
- Raise the oven rack and pizza stone to the top 1/3 of the oven and change the oven setting to broil. Return the pizza to the pizza stone, without the parchment paper and broil (with the oven door slightly open) until the crust is well browned and the tomatoes are softened.
- Remove pizza to a cutting board. Sprinkle with a little balsamic vinegar and garnish with a generous handful of fresh, chopped basil.