Even though summer is slowly coming to a close, we must rejoice because it is officially TOMATO season! Cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes (popular here in NJ) and of course, the various heirloom varieties, in all their lumpy and multi-colored glory!
Honestly, I get very excited about tomatoes. And you already know I get excited about PIZZA. So… you know where I am going with this, yes??
You must put these fresh, in-season tomatoes on a pizza. Oh yes, you must. I’m going to give you a few tips on how to do this.
Zaza’s Tips for Fresh Tomato Pie (as in pizza):
- My recipe for sourdough pizza crust tastes best with fresh tomatoes. It’s all about that TANG! Give it a try.
- Tomatoes have a LOT of water, and you don’t want watery pizza. To avoid this, slice and drain fresh tomatoes before putting them on top of your pizza.
- Even better, use unsliced, fresh CHERRY tomatoes on your pizza.
- Pre-roast your tomatoes before baking them on your pizza to get extra-soft and flavorful tomatoes.
To pre-roast your tomatoes:
- Heat your oven to 425°F.
- Place your tomatoes on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Drizzle them with olive oil.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Smaller tomatoes will take less time, so keep an eye on them.
- They should look wilted and maybe a little blackened (just a touch) when they are done.
Kind of like this:
This pizza is extra special because I created it for my first print ad in Fine Cooking Magazine. This August (as in right now) the kid & family-friendly issue of Fine Cooking is on magazine stands with my ad featured. Pick one up! My ad looks like this:
There is also an extra special video you can watch featuring Zaza, Pecorino, some stop-motion tomatoes and the whole business of making a Margherita pizza. That video is linked in the recipe below, but you can also watch it here:
But back to the recipe. You should be making this one all September long. Here’s how:Print
This pizza recipe uses fresh tomatoes to give an in-season kick to a classic margherita pizza.
2 pints whole cherry tomatoes, roasted or fresh
1 jar crushed tomatoes
1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, torn
1 tsp salt, divided
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh basil (as much as you’d like)
1 recipe sourdough pizza dough
- Heat your oven to 500°F.
- If you’re using a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat up in the oven for at least 30 minutes before baking on it.
- Stretch out one of the pizza dough rounds onto a pizza peel dusted with flour, or onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (if not using a pizza stone).
- Spoon the crushed tomatoes (just a thing layer will do) on top of the stretched out dough.
- Place pieces of torn mozzarella on top of the tomatoes.
- Next add some cherry tomatoes (fresh or roasted). Place a scattered amount around the top of the pizza, so that every slice will have a few tomatoes on it.
- Drizzle the pizza with about 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp salt.
- Slide your pizza into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling!
- Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh basil and serve.
Keywords: pizza using fresh tomatoes, margherita pizza, fresh tomato pizza, tomato pie, margherita pizza recipe, how to roast tomatoes for pizza