Years ago when we first began experimenting with making pizza at home we tried a vast array of dough recipes but always stuck with the same toppings: tomatoes and basil. After several fails and equal amounts of pizza successes, we felt brave enough to venture into the unknown world of topping combinations. One of our favorite combinations is Asian Pear and Maple Sausage but we’ve also made pizzas with sweet peas, asparagus, barbecued cauliflower, caramelized Brussels sprouts as well as more traditional pizzas like Hawaiian and pepperoni. Sometimes we feel a bit nostalgic, especially in the summer when tomatoes and basil are booming, and go back to our roots with a simple, but delicious Pizza Margarita. This pizza was quick and easy to throw together but does not fall short on flavor. There’s just something special about the combination of gooey mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fresh basil that nothing else can beat.
Fresh Tomato Basil Pizza
1 homemade or store bought Pizza Dough
about 8 to 10 slices of fresh Mozzarella
about 1 cup shredded Italian Cheese Blend
1 tbsp EVOO, or oil of choice
about 1/4 cup Pizza Sauce
2 cups fresh Basil, chiffonade and reserve
1 fresh Tomato, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Preheat a cast iron pizza pan, or pizza pan of choice, in the oven at least 15 minutes. Roll out the dough with a bit of flour or cornmeal until it is large enough to fit on the pizza pan. Remove pizza pan from oven and carefully add the dough to the pan. Return the pan to the oven and flashbake the dough 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cover the dough with pizza sauce, layer on the cheese, and finish with the chopped tomato. Bake the pizza in the oven 20 to 25 minutes until the crust is crisp and the cheese is golden and bubbling. Remove pizza from the oven and top with the fresh basil. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.