Friday, January 09, 2009

Pizza that speaks volumes...

While we do have quite the snow pack outside, it is still currently covered in an ugly sheet of ice that came down a few days ago... it certainly makes it tough for the pups to do their business! Although, I do have to admit it makes for a little entertainment for us when we watch them slippin' and slidin' around! It makes me miss the "warm" winters when we lived out in Phoenix.

Oh well, we at least had our own little summery party inside tonight with our weekly Friday Night Pizza! After seeing some decent tomatoes (well, for being in winter anyway) at the market, we threw together this Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato and Pesto Pizza to have tonight!

We began this uncomplicated pizza by giving our favorite whole-wheat pizza dough a rub down with extra-virgin olive oil before sliding it onto our hot stone in the oven, giving it a head start on getting crisp. We left it in just long enough that the bottom turns a very light golden and the top is no longer soft. Rather than using a red sauce on top, we smeared the partially baked crust with a basic homemade pesto from this past summer when our basil was going crazy. I'm thankful that I thought ahead and froze quite a few cubes of it in ice cube trays to have throughout the winter... I know I'll definitely be doing that again this year. It is such a nice treat to pull out when we need a speedy coating for pasta, adding in to eggs for a fresh note or tossing a cube into a pot of soup to perk it up.

Over the pesto we laid a bed of sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, followed by a few grains of fresh ground black pepper. Fresh mozzarella can be a pain to slice thinly since it is quite soft, but you can make this easier on yourself - wrap it in saran wrap and set the ball in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. You don't want it to freeze solid, but the short stint firms it up enough that slicing is easier. Since the crust has already been partially baked, it just needs the few extra minutes back in the oven to melt the cheese, warm the tomatoes through and finish off the crust to a rich golden brown.

Jeff commented that we must make this pizza again as he was thrilled with how well it came out - the excitement from the ingredients being so simple, yet so dramatic in flavor spoke volumes on how sometimes less is more. When those fresh, spirited tomatoes start exploding from the heat of the summer, this is one of the first recipes I think I'll be waiting anxiously to make.


  1. Wow that Pizza sure looks yummy. I have to try and make it sometime at home.

  2. Your pizza looks so good! I made my first ever homemade crust lastnight for dinner! I was so happy I was beside myself!! The kids and hubby loved it, no more take out pizza!!

  3. That Tomato and Pesto pizza looks incredible. I may have to try it this week to help me deal with the multiple days below zero we're expecting!

  4. Looks great, Joe. I think I'll dig out the recipe for the whole wheat crust (it's fantastic!) and have the kids make some pizza today.

  5. Hey Joe - just wanted to confirm to you that your whole wheat pizza dough is the best we've had! I put fresh mushrooms, fresh tomato, basil, shredded mozzerella, and some fried and drained panchetta. Fabulous!

    Keep it coming!

  6. Pesto and fresh tomato is my all-time favorite pizza combo!

  7. Zobars - Thanks!

    Bunny - Fantastic! Will you make it a weekly event?

    Robert - We are expecting a week of those below zero temperatures this week... =(

    Martha - Yeah!

    MC - Glad you got a chance to try it out! Sounds like some good toppings too!

    Karen - Isn't it an exciting, but simple, combination?

  8. Joe,
    Made "THE CRUST" early Friday morning, and left in the fridge all day. My three-year old grandaughter had a ball helping me roll it out and make our Friday night pizza. I used a locally made italian sausage, basil from the freezer, and fresh mozzarella... To die for good!

  9. Finally tried your whole wheat pizza dough recipe & it's just superb. Thanks for all the recipe ideas & tips.

  10. Joe, I may have said this before, but are you interested in adopting me?


  11. Ari - interested in puppy sitting? ;-)

  12. If we weren't 1500 miles apart I'd be right there!