Thursday, October 11, 2007
WHB - Basil Tomato Pizza
I am so excited to be participating in Weekend Herb Blogging this weekend. It is a special weekend, the 2 year anniversary. Kalyn, from Kalyn's Kitchen began the whole thing here. Don't you just love her?! She didn't have a cat or a dog for the traditional weekend cat or dog blogging so she took a photo of her bucket of basil, and thus from such humble beginnings started Weekend Herb Blogging. You can click on the image above to learn more about it.
This weekends blog was to include an herb and a vegetable. While trying to decide what to cook and post, the weather man came to my rescue. He is calling for lows in the 40's here this week, and that has triggered a frantic freeze or use-up my herbs before-they-are-all-gone activity. I know my rosemary will keep going for most of the winter, but basil is pretty touchy and I need to use it up now. Looking in the fridge, I saw a couple of roma tomatoes and some cheese. Hmm...let's see basil, tomatoes and cheese, while I could make a traditional basil, tomato, and mozzarella salad, my cheese was fontina, and it says right on the label, perfect for melting. What better place to melt cheese than on a pizza!
Let me just say, that this was amazing. I don't believe that I have ever used fontina cheese for pizza before, but it is great! It melts beautifully, doesn't get as stringy as mozzarella, and has a more complex flavor than most pizza cheeses.
For this pizza, I kept it simple. Rolled out my dough, brushed it with some olive oil, which had 2 cloves of minced garlic in it. Sort of crumbled and smooched up the cheese into little globs, spread the sliced tomatoes over that, liberally salted and peppered it all and popped it into the oven on my pizza stone that I had preheating at 500 degrees. After about 10 minutes (it could have browned a little more, but I couldn't wait), took it out and sprinkled some fresh chopped basil on top. The heat from the pizza perfectly softened and cooked the basil.
This pizza is a basic take on the pizza that was created for Queen Margherita in 1889. It contained basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella, the colors of the Italian flag. The pizza was dubbed Pizza Margherita and set the standards for pizza. I have to say, that I think I like mine with fontina cheese better!
If you want to see all of the Weekend Herb Blogging posts, be sure and stop by Kalyn's Kitchen.