Monday, January 30, 2012

Balsamic and Basil Pizza

Yes, this is a cheese pizza.  So what?  Cheese pizzas are delicious.  And for this one, the sauce makes it, along with the thin, crispy crust.  Super simple and absolutely not your everyday cheese pizza.... but it could be....  You know, if you made it that.

Balsamic and Basil Pizza
~12 oz pizza dough (1/2 of this recipe, but make the whole recipe, it turns out better that way)
6-8 oz fresh mozzarella
1 C crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
1 heaping Tbsp basil puree*
1 clove garlic, minced (1/2-3/4 tsp)
corn meal

   Stretch dough into a roughly 13x9 in rectangle, about a 12 inch circle on a pizza pan or baking sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal (to prevent sticking).  Pre-bake dough on bottom rack in a 450 deg F oven for 4-5 minutes.
   Combine tomato, balsamic, basil, and garlic.  (Add salt to taste if you are using a salt-free tomato product.)  Spread over crust.
   Slice mozzarella, then tear it into small-ish pieces and evenly distribute over pizza.
   Put back into 450 deg F on a middle rack.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until bottom of crust is golden and cheese is browned and bubbly.
   Serves 4.

*I puree fresh bunches of basil over the summer in just enough extra virgin olive oil to create a thick paste.  An equal amount of pesto is a great substitute, just omit the garlic from the recipe.  Or if it is summer and fresh basil is everywhere, I would say 1.5-2 Tbsp of chopped basil, that has not been packed down and bruised.

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