Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pizza Experiment

The tomatoes I bought on Tuesday, the tubular ones which, I now find out, are the type grown in San Marzano, Italy, for the purpose of being turned into canned tomatoes and tomato paste, were begging me to slice them into coins and make a pizza with them. As a good New York-raised person, the idea of using anything but tomato sauce on a pizza is a hard one to give up, but I had an idea.

So first I sliced 'em up.

I also coarsely chopped some of this Provençal garlic I got at the market, and sliced some fresh mozzarella, which I put on towels for a half-hour to dry out. If you don't do this, it'll just ooze water in the oven and turn your pizza crust into goo.

The dough wasn't the best I've made, and tore when I was trying to stretch it out, but I finally wrestled it onto the peel and put the mozzarella and garlic down as the first layer.

Then I put down the tomatoes, tossed some dried basil and dried oregano over it all, and drizzled it real good with olive oil.

Twenty minutes, or maybe less, in the oven, and the kitchen sure smelled good. I took it out when the crust looked right and here it is, ready to toss some Parmesan on:

Notes: Crust was so-so, as usual (let's face it, a home oven doesn't get hot enough to do a real good job), but the one thing I forgot was salt. Man, did this need salt! Once some was ground over the top, though, the herbs and the tomatoes joined forces and it was good. The garlic, as I predicted, gave up most of its sharpness, although again, we needed salt there. I think next time I might put a little olive oil on the cheese/garlic layer and salt that, then do herbs/olive oil on top of the tomatoes and salt that, too.

One of the other tomatoes I got on Tuesday, the ridged one (which is not a coeur de boeuf, although it resembles one) wound up in the accompanying salad, and was incredibly juicy and flavorful, without a touch of acid.

This guy's "tomates anciennes" are going to see me again, no question. And I'm going to continue experimenting with pizzas.


  1. Looks delicious, beautiful & rustic!

  2. I could see a few anchovies for salt ....

  3. Where's the dang fried egg?

    Shady Grove - Busted no More - Video:

  4. Looks delicious. I've made Pizzas a few times and can empathise with the oven problem. Not sure about raw tomato (risks being watery) vs. a more concentrated reduced tomato sauce. Also onions are essential for my taste.
    You could also try goat's cheese for a more local alternative to mozzarella.
    I've also used 25% rye flour to white for a nuttier base and it works well.
    Try adding olive oil after cooking to get the taste of the oil, othwise it's just a waste of olive oil.
    The need for salt probably reflects the current chaleur.

  5. You're right about the olive oil. I should have figured that out. But you're wrong about the goat cheese: I'm violently allergic. As for messing with the dough, uh-uh. I can tell you're not from the Northeast of the U.S.

    I am, however, going to take David's advice on the anchovies.

  6. Isn't your problem simply that the bread of your pizza is too thick? Usually it's quite thinner (except at the periphery, where it puffs up a bit).


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