If you are what you eat, I might soon turn into a giant tomato. Exactly what kind of tomato is a good question. This summer, we experimented with growing tomatoes in pots, on the deck (up high and safe from our resident critters.) Four varieties: roma, beefsteak, cherry, and heirloom. Truth be told, we half-expected that they would not thrive very well given that, firstly, we were growing them in pots and, secondly, that tomato plants are, in general, susceptible to disease. We never expected that we would be reaping vine-ripened tomatoes all summer long. And by extension, that we would be eating tomatoes all summer long. In cous cous, on bruschetta, in salads, in pasta - these past couple months have been a mini tomato festival at our house.
As the nights here in Minnesota are getting cooler, the plants are beginning to show signs of the end. They are "thinning", and the leaves are drooping and turning a sort of blue-purple color. But, surprisingly, the cherry tomato plant is still bearing. I managed to pick quite a bit a few days ago, most of which ended up on this pizza. Instead of baking the tomatoes with the other toppings, I decided to put them on after the pizza had baked, in order to savor all of its freshness. For the crust, I used store-bought dough - this can be so convenient on weeknights. And I also added a bit of sun-dried tomato paste to the sauce, which, to me, makes a more flavorful sauce but is by no means necessary.
Here's to the last few days of summer!
Fresh Tomato Pizza
Makes one 10" pizza
pizza dough (enough to make one 10" pizza)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup pizza sauce
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste (optional)
8-10 oz mozzarella, sliced
1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1. Set the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. On a clean, floured surface, roll out the dough to about 10" in diameter. Transfer to a greased baking sheet.
3. Drizzle the olive oil over the pizza dough and, using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread evenly. Next, spread on the pizza sauce. (If using sun-dried tomato paste, stir this into the pizza sauce before spreading it on the pizza dough.) Arrange the mozzarella slices evenly on top.
4. Bake until the crust is crisp and brown and the mozzarella is bubbly, about 15 minutes.
5. Right before serving, top the pizza with the fresh cherry tomatoes.