Heirloom Tomato Pizza
Heirloom tomatoes? I know, it’s officially fall. Autumn. Leaves falling. Pumpkins and butternut squash. Hot apple cider. I mean, it’s practically October. But summer is still marching on here in San Francisco. Well, this weekend was foggy and rainy, but I’m just going to pretend that didn’t happen, particularly since the sun is now back in full force—and thank goodness for that—otherwise I might be suffering from fog-induced seasonal affective disorder right now. Regardless, we’re enjoying some much-deserved warm weather this week, so I simply cannot bear to start cooking with pumpkins and butternut squash. And I cannot start drinking hot apple cider. Not yet, at least. Although (my current pro-summer fanaticism notwithstanding) autumn is my favorite season, so I’m sure I’ll jump on that bandwagon soon enough…
Are heirloom tomatoes still gorgeous in your neck of the woods? Because they’re downright amazing here right now. They come in just about every color of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, and purple. Some are sweet. Some are tart. But they’re all so delicious. I find that imple preparations are best for these naturally delectable tomatoes—we’ve been enjoying them sliced up in a caprese salad, along with a glass of rosé on the weekend, or diced up in a simple, raw pasta sauce with garlic and shallots, for an easy weeknight meal. And of course we’ve been enjoying these on pizza too (if it’s good, it’s got to go on a pizza, right?).
This pizza couldn’t be easier to make. But it’s so good. We felt like we were feasting on a fancy, overpriced pizza at one of San Francisco’s trendy pizza joints (only for a fraction of the cost). All it takes is some simple, homemade pizza dough. Some heirloom tomatoes. Some fresh mozzarella. A handful of fresh basil (we used some very yummy lemon basil that we have growing in our herb garden). And a generous drizzle of the basil oil that you have leftover from making this dish. Pop it in a hot oven, and in just a few minutes, you’ve got a pretty incredible meal that’s ready to be devoured. Perfect.
Oh, and Patrick has made some tweaks to his super simple pizza dough recipe (basically, he’s perfected it and it’s awesome). I’ll be posting his tips for making great dough, along with step-by-step photos soon!
HEIRLOOM TOMATO PIZZA
1 recipe of Patrick’s Super Simple Pizza Dough
2 heirloom tomatoes (whatever varieties catch your fancy)
6-8 oz. fresh mozzarella
small handful of fresh basil leaves
a couple tablespoons of basil oil
salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (the hotter the better!).
Thinly slice the tomatoes and mozzarella. Set aside.
Use your hands to stretch out (gently!) your pizza dough into a large circle. Lay your dough out on a pizza peel, pizza crisper, or sheet pan (whatever you’ve got—I use a pizza crisper pan). Brush or spritz lightly with olive oil. Arrange the heirloom tomato and mozzarella slices on top of the dough, and top with a very light drizzle of olive oil, and a little salt and pepper.
Bake for about 5-10 minutes (total baking time depends on how hot your oven is), until the cheese is melted and bubbling, the tomatoes are just wilted, and the dough is blistered. Drizzle a couple generous tablespoons of basil oil all over the pizza, and then scatter fresh basil leaves on top. Slice and enjoy!