Tomato Pizza with Herbed Crust and Balsamic Drizzle
I love pizza! If it were up to me, I would probably make pizza for dinner several nights a week. And eat the leftovers for lunch. Maybe even breakfast…! Luckily my husband and daughter keep my pizza consumption in check, and we probably make this pizza recipe for dinner on average twice a month.
Taking pizza down to the very simplest of ingredients somehow makes the humble pizza seem super fancy! That’s how this recipe is—super simple, fresh ingredients, but when you eat this pizza, you’ll feel like you are eating an exceptionally elegant dish!
Feel free to use store bought pizza dough if you don’t have the time to make the dough yourself. (I love Trader Joe’s fresh pizza dough, and use it to make this pizza whenever I must have pizza, but don’t have the time to make the dough!) I must say though, my Quick and Easy Pizza Dough recipe is so worth the (minimal) effort it takes to prepare! This dough is so easy to make, and rises in just 10 minutes! But I know that sometimes even a quick and easy dough can be too much time or effort when you just have to get that pizza in the oven!
Use cheese or your favorite vegan cheese if you’re keeping this pizza vegan. If using regular cheese, then freshly-grated cheese is an absolute MUST! It just melts so much better than the pre-grated stuff!
The freshness of all the ingredients is what makes this simple pizza so wonderful. If fresh basil is hard to come by (or expensive!), I always think that fresh cilantro or parsley are worthy substitutes. These herbs will of course lend a different flavor than basil, but each herb still compliments the pizza beautifully!
Now go enjoy this delicious pizza!
Are you as crazy about the humble pizza as I am?
Tomato Pizza with Herbed Crust and Balsamic Drizzle
Quick and Easy Herbed Pizza Dough:
- ¼ cup warm water
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- ¼ cup good olive oil
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ½ cup water
- 2 cloves roasted garlic, diced (or ¾ tsp garlic powder)
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 6-8 oz Mozzarella, freshly grated (regular or your favorite vegan brand)
- 3/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated (omit to keep this pizza vegan)
- 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3-6 tomatoes, depending on size sliced
- 2 Tbsp basil chiffonade
- 2-3 tsp good olive oil
- 3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling, or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees
Activate the yeast
- In a small bowl, add the warm water, salt, brown sugar, and active dry yeast. Whisk with a fork, and let it sit on top of the warming oven for about five minutes, or until the yeast has activated. (The mixture will get foamy/bubbly.)
Make the dough
- In a medim size bowl, add 2 cups of flour, the diced garlic (or garlic powder), and Italian seasoning. Stir together. Now add the yeast mixture and the olive oil to the flour mixture. Stir until the dough starts to come together. It will look a little shaggy at this point.
- Now add the remaining ¼ cup flour and keep mixing with a spoon or your hand. The dough will be a little dry at this point, so start adding the final ½ cup water. Go slowly, you may not need to use the whole ½ cup.
- Keep adding the water and incorporating it into the dough with your hand or stirring utensil until a nice, slightly sticky dough has formed. It should stick to your hands slightly when touched. If it is sticking more than slightly to your hands, add a little more flour. If it is too dry and not sticking to your hands at all, add more water until you reach the slightly sticky consistency.
Let the dough rest
- Cover the bowl with a towel, place it on top of the warm oven, and let rise for at least 10 minutes. The great thing about this dough is that it is ready to roll out in 10 minutes, but you can also just let it keep rising until you are ready to make the pizza.
Compile the pizza
- After at least 10 minutes, roll or stretch the pizza dough out on an oiled cookie sheet. You can make it as thick or thin as you like. I have made this both ways and prefer the dough to be thinner, almost touching the perimeter of the cookie sheet. (So this is more of a square shaped or long oval pizza.)
- With your hands or a kitchen brush, brush the top of the dough with 2-3 tsp good olive oil. Then sprinkle the 6-8 oz mozzarella (depending on how cheesy you like your pizza) over the oiled pizza dough.
- Next arrange the tomatoes evenly over the pizza, followed by the Parmesan. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the whole pizza.
Bake the pizza
- Bake in pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes check on the pizza. If the crust is getting some color and the cheese is slightly browned and bubbling, it’s done! If not, bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly browned.
- Take the pizza out of the oven. While it is still warm, take your balsamic vinegar and lightly drizzle it over the pizza. You can also take some olive oil and lightly drizzle that over the top of the pizza. (Start light here because a little bit goes along way, and you can always add more later!)
- If your drizzle is uneven, that is ok. After you drizzle the balsamic and olive oil (if using), take the cookie sheet in your hands by each side (wearing oven mitts!) and gently rock the sheet so that the balsamic (and oil) spread evenly over the pizza. (This is just a drizzle, so the whole pizza won't be covered in the balsamic!) And it doesn’t matter if the balsamic and oil run off the pizza onto the cookie sheet. They probably will!)
Serve and enjoy!
- Lastly take your basil chiffonade and sprinkle it over the top of the pizza. Cut the pizza into squares and serve! (:
© Macarons and Mimi
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