Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cherry Tomato Pizza

Pizza time, by the beach!

Summer Pizza!

Pizza is America's adopted food; and luckily, for those of us who entertain a great deal, works for both vegetarians and omnivores alike. Cooking with cherry tomatoes is very popular in southern Italy.  In the summer, we use these incredibly fresh petite tomatoes for homemade pizzas that we cook in our outdoor oven.

On a typical summer day, we make the pizza dough in the morning (using Neopolitan 00 flour), and we let it sit and rise while we frolic at the beach.  To make it interesting, before guests arrive, we  encourage them to shop and bring their favorite toppings.  Together, we all roll out the dough (in the form of a painting palate) and each family creates their own pizza to their liking.

There are many great pizza ovens out there.  Our Kalamazoo is the Cadillac of pizza ovens, is used on movie sets for a famous Italian director, heats to about 800 degrees, and, I am very proud to say, is American made in my dad's home state of Michigan!  Here is a site that provides a practical review of the oven:  

Tips for pizza making:

1. Make your own sauce!

Here is a fast, simple, crowd-pleasing recipe using cherry tomatoes:

Saute  2 cloves of garlic together with 2 tablespoons olive olive and a dash of hot pepper flakes for 1-2 minutes in a medium size pan.  Add in fresh cherry tomatoes, a tablespoon of oregano, salt and pepper.  Cook until cherry tomatoes pop and desired consistency is achieved.

2. Use Caputos 00 Flour (you can get it on Amazon):

3. If short on time, save yourself a step by going to a pizzeria to buy the dough.

3. Use semolina flour on the peel for better transfer into the oven.  It also adds a nice grainy texture to the crust.  

4. Cut the pie immediately after taking it out of the oven. 

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