Ever wonder what to do with just three medium sized tomatoes? If you like raw tomatoes, probably not. But if you are like me (or are just tired of raw tomatoes) you'll need to cook them before you can eat them.
Pizza Margherita. It is the perfect pizza for summer. The crust is crisp, the cheese light and the tomatoes fresh (and if you are lucky, local). After the pizza is baked, fresh basil is tossed on top along with a small handful of Parmesan.
One of the particularly nice things about this pizza is a lot of it can be made ahead of time such as the tomato marinade. It consists of tomatoes, garlic, salt, a pinch of oregano and extra virgin olive oil. An hour in the fridge to marry the flavors together would be my recommended minimum, but I think you could easily toss this together the night before so when you come home from work the next day it would be ready to go.
You have a choice in how you prepare your tomatoes. You can slice them or dice them. I like to dice ours for a more even coverage. I don't like to bite into pizza and have a slice of tomato slide off rendering the next three bites tomato-less. I also seed them to prevent excessive liquid. The recipe that follows is for the way I prepare this pizza but if you prefer slices (or whole leaves of basil for that matter!) please follow your preferences. I won't fault you but don't blame me when you that tomato slice slides off....
This decision also exists for the cheese. Again, I prefer even coverage and grate the mozzarella. Slices of the cheese seem to be the choice for those who like the sliding tomatoes.
I use my homemade pizza crust recipe but I think you could use a store bought pizza crust. If you have one you find to your liking; I haven't used pre-made crust before and can't give you any recommendations.
1 quantity of pizza dough for a 12 inch pizza
3 medium sized tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon of sea salt
Pinch of oregano, dried or a few minced leaves of fresh
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 ounces mozzarella
6-8 leaves of fresh basil
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano
Additional extra virgin olive oil
1. Seed and dice three tomatoes. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes with the garlic, sea salt and oregano. Stir in the olive oil, cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 500. Prepare your pizza dough for a 12 inch pizza and brush it lightly with a little olive oil. Spread the mozzarella over the top, leaving a small 1/2-1 inch border for the crust. Spoon the tomato mixture over the cheese.
3. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. While the pizza is baking, roll up the basil leaves and cut them into thin strips.
4. When the pizza is finished baking, remove it from the oven and top with the fresh basil. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and serve immediately.