The last of the tomatoes leave me wanting but ‘oh so ready’ for the fruits of a fall harvest. End of summer tomatoes around here are a bit tart but still carry a lingering taste of the summer sun. These do, however, need a bit of a coaxing before their flavor pops. Fall tomatoes can be used in a quick mid-week pizza when nothing seems to be going right and the body craves some carbo-comfort. Enjoy and savor while they last.
The recipe is simple as it needs to be. Pizza Margherita is about ingredients, not fancy style.
I used the classic and easy “No Knead” pizza dough from Jim Lahey. It is my current standard. It is thin and crispy with just enough chewiness to satiate my need for a good crust. The only adaptations I make are to add a tablespoon of honey to add a nice sweetness in the background and perhaps a splash of wine or hot pepper juice. Oh yes, I pre-cook it at 500 for a few minutes (10-15 min) to firm it up so it is not undercooked in my little apartment oven. If you have an old oven as I do, this is muy importante. This dough is nice to make on a Sunday (perhaps a double batch if you have a fam to feed) and stick in the fridge in a bowl or plastic baggie to pull out what you need at night during the week.
This might enable a week-long pizza fest in your home. Not that I would know about that, really.
Homemade Pizza Margherita
Roast a few tomatoes in the oven at 350 for a half an hour or so with a few cloves of garlic, a sprinkling of salt, a few sprigs of thyme and a good dousing with your favorite olive oil.
Turn up the oven to 500 and get it up there good!
Lay out a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. No, it is not as authentic as using a stone. I deal.
Take tomatoes and garlic out of the oven and smash them all over your pre-baked pizza crust.
Dust with some romano cheese, hot pepper seeds if you like the heat (yes!), and some shredded cheese. I use a mozzarella/provolone mix.
Slide the goodness in the oven at 500 until the top is bubbling but not browned.
Snuggle up on your couch. Eat. Need I say more?