Homemade pizza has never been more delicious! Layered with heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, roasted garlic, and melty mozzarella. Who needs delivery, anyway?
I’m not exaggerating when I say eating more seasonal fruits and vegetables changed my life, and nothing exemplifies the benefits of in-season produce quite like the tomato. Bland and flavorless, a January tomato is nothing I want to mess with, but an August tomato, now that’s a thing of beauty. Plump, juicy, and sweet as candy.
Now that they’re in their prime, I’ve been stockpiling heirloom tomatoes like crazy. Still they never last long. Between the avocado toast, salads, fresh salsa, and homemade pizza, my supply is perpetually in a state of dwindle.
Now that it’s officially August (how?!), I had to celebrate with my latest tomato obsession, roasted garlic caprese pizza. (Sure, sticklers, you could call it a Margherita, but I was originally inspired by the Italian salad and I’m sticking with it.)
There’s admittedly nothing too creative or unique about this homemade pizza recipe, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. It’s summer simplicity at its finest. When you have ingredients like these, you don’t need a whole lot of effort to make food that tastes good.
The big lightbulb moment came the other day, when I flipped the oven on to preheat our stone for another pizza night at home. The pizza stone takes about 45 minutes to warm up, which is coincidentally the same amount of time it takes to roast a head of garlic. I didn’t think summer tomatoes could get any more delicious, but adding the caramelized cloves to my favorite homemade pizza has proven otherwise. Like a good marriage, tomatoes and garlic are even better together.
In honor of simplicity, I used a pound of fresh dough from the grocery store for this recipe. If you’re really short on time, you could also top a piece of pre-made naan flatbread (just be sure to watch closely and adjust the baking time as needed). One benefit of the fresh dough is that you can mold it into any form you’d like—thick or thin, crusty or not. I like rustic, lumpy, and irregularly-shaped, because perfection (aside from tomatoes in August) isn’t a real thing anyway.
Homemade pizza has never been more delicious! Layered with heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, roasted garlic, and melty mozzarella.
- 1 head garlic
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup sliced heirloom tomato
- 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (red, orange and yellow)
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, plus additional to brush crust if desired
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano, plus additional for garnish if desired
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound pizza dough at room temperature (see note)
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, sliced into chiffonade (thin strips)
- Crushed red pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with pizza stone inside (if using). Peel off the loose, outer layers of the head of garlic, keeping cloves attached and head in tact. Trim a 1/4 inch off the top to expose cloves. Drizzle oil on the cloves and wrap in foil. Roast 40 minutes, or until center clove is soft and caramelized. Remove garlic from oven and push from the bottom to release the cloves. Chop and set aside. Increase oven heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the garlic is roasting, combine heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate.
Stretch pizza dough until about 1/4-inch thick with slightly higher edges. Lay on hot pizza stone (or greased baking sheet) and bake 5 minutes, or until crust starts to bubble and brown on the edges.
Remove crust from oven and spread heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic, fresh mozzarella, and basil around the center of the crust. Brush edges with oil if desired (brushing will give the crust more golden-brown color). Return pizza to oven and bake 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Watch pizza closely and adjust baking times as needed to prevent burning.
Remove pizza from the oven and garnish with crushed red pepper and additional dry oregano (if desired). Slice into four (or more) pieces and serve.
I used fresh pizza dough from the deli section of my grocery store for this recipe. Cooking times may vary depending on the type of dough you use. Follow the instructions on the package.
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