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Posts Tagged ‘tomato’

Pizza

Pizza making can be a big, big job and it is one that I enjoy.  However, I got to thinking that there must be other ways to gather together all of the things that make pizza great without making the dough and the sauce and then deciding on the fixins’.  If you feel the same here’s what you do.  And, if you’d like to turn it into a breakfast or brunch dish, crack as many eggs as you have diners – but no more than 4 – on top along with some slices of prosciutto or ham nestled into the cheese (in this instance, gruyère can replace the mozzarella).  Eh, voila!

1½ cups 00 flour (if you can find it, if not use all-purpose)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast

⅔ cup warm water

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling

1 cup grated mozzarella

1 small basket cherry tomatoes on the vine

A handful of black olives, pitted or not, your choice

A few bits of fresh rosemary

½ teaspoon red chili flakes, optional

A good sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add the yeast, stirring to blend in.  Combine the water with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil.  Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture, beating to combine.  When blended scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands for about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Oil a large bowl and place the dough into it.  Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to cover the sides.  Set aside.

Lightly flour a clean, flat work surface.

Scrape the dough out onto the floured surface and, using a rolling pin, roll it out to about a 9-inch square.

Lift the dough up and fit it into the paper-lined pan, taking care to push the dough up against all sides of the pan.

Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella. (If using eggs and ham, use only half of the cheese, then break the eggs on top and nestle in the ham, finish with the remaining cheese.)  Lay the tomatoes randomly across the cheese.  Place the olives into the cheese and sprinkle the rosemary and chili flakes over the top.  Drizzle olive oil over the top and then generously top with grated parmesan.

Transfer to in the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, the tomatoes slightly charred, and the dough golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

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My dear husband (who couldn’t even fry an egg if his life depended upon it) has for years coveted a tomato knife.  Well, the tomato knife fairy landed in our house and presented him with his very own signature knife and then he refused to use it.  He didn’t want to get it dirty!!!!!  So I did and, of course, Steve had to document me dirtying up his new toy while cutting lovely neat slices of a hot house tomato for sandwiches and delicate and oh! so sweet little Kumato tomatoes quartered for salad.  He quickly washed it clean and stored it in his hidden spot.  I now have to ask to borrow it when tomatoes are on the menu!

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If you’ve followed my ramblings for awhile you know that raw tomato sauce (see my post of September 27, 2010) is a household summertime favorite.  When we were in the country this past week and the first light frost had hit, I picked up as many plum (Roma) tomatoes that I could to make raw tomato sauce for the evening’s dinner as well as to put some in the freezer for a winter’s day.  It won’t be raw anymore, but it will still remind us of our summer’s love.  Here is the one last bite of the nite’s dinner of raw tomato sauce on some dense and yummy imported Italian dried spaghetti along with a photo of the not-so-desirable morning-after-frost pickings at Parson’s Farm in Sharon Springs, New York.  So sad to see all of those dying tomatoes!  Fall is truly here!

 

 

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Although we love our grilled veggies, some just don’t quite make grilling easy.  They drop through the grates, fall apart before they are nicely charred, or char so quickly that they burn before they are done.  I had a lovely bunch of  sweet tomatoes that I hoodwinked on the grill.  Put them in a little cast iron skillet, added some extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper, and placed the pan directly on the hot grill.  In no time, they absorbed the flavor of the grill and yet they kept their shape and made a perfect side dish to some grilled ribs.

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Another photo that doesn’t need much explanation – just a plate of beautifully ripe heirloom tomatoes ready to be sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with fruity olive oil.  Summer is coming – this is just a reminder of what great food is on its way from the garden.

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