Friday, September 04, 2009

Roasted Tomato Pizza...

We've had a few ripe Roma tomatoes come from our plants in the backyard, but the majority of them have stayed green for quite some time. However, within the last week and a half, they have finally started to ripen up (darn cool weather!) and we put three of them to good use in our Friday Night Pizza by making this Roasted Tomato Pizza with Ricotta and Asiago Cheese.

Slicing the tomatoes in half, we spread them out onto a baking sheet and gave them just a whisper coating of granulated sugar to get the process going. Roasted for just about an hour, you'll know the tomatoes are ready to come out when they have started to shrink and the edges have begun to crinkle, yet they are still soft with some juiciness left in them. We're not drying tomatoes after all, we just want to concentrate that fresh summer flavor down into rich bites.

I went ahead and did this yesterday because I just didn't have time tonight - if you would like to do that, roast and let them cool down, then stash them in the refrigerator. They should hold for a few days. Since the pizza was going to be fairly light with the toppings, we went ahead and used the pound version of our whole-wheat pizza dough. Stretched into a round and pre-baked, this time we did give the dough a bit of a lip for a chewy edge around the sides. Just as it came out of the oven, we brushed the dough with extra-virgin olive-oil, then started a pizza crust painting party by arranging our selection of ingredients over the top.

To make sure the pizza would be evenly covered by the tomatoes, we chopped the caramelized halves into chunky bits, then scattered them over. Using a large scoop of smooth ricotta cheese, we randomly dropped small dollops on top and quickly followed each with a bit of salt and fresh ground black pepper to season. Paper thin shavings from our nutty block of Asiago cheese finished the pizza off before going back onto the stone to finish baking - Parmesan would also work well if you don't keep Asiago on hand.

Since the bottom of the base was already lightly browned from the pre-baking, the pizza just took a few minutes to melt the cheese and finish crisping up the crust. If you do like a softer crust, you will probably want to skip the first bake and just top the raw dough - we just like us some crunch. After I reached the peel in to grab the pizza, we had one more topping to add before we dug in - torn fresh basil leaves! Adding simple slices of tomatoes on pizza is nothing out of the norm for us, but taking the extra step of roasting the thick, meaty Romas added such a complex depth that heightened their sweetness and made it worth waiting for the tomatoes to finish ripening. One of our favorite pizzas yet!


  1. This is right up my alley, I love all the ingredients!

  2. Yum! This is the best looking pizza I have seen lately!

  3. Made this for lunch today - it was a hit!

    I really enjoy your blog,


  4. Kerstin - Thanks!

    Ana - Thank you!

    Jo - Glad you liked it!