Pesto & Heirloom Tomato Pizza Recipe

This flavorful homemade pesto & heirloom tomato pizza will make you never want delivery again.



Summer 2012

Total Hands-On Time: 2 hrs

Preparation Time: 1 hr 45 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Yield: 2 large pizzas

As gardeners, heirloom tomato pizza is probably up there on our top 10 lists of favorite foods. Am I right? This recipe really just serves as a reminder to make lots and lots of heirloom tomato pizza this summer while you’ve got those gorgeous tomatoes and fresh basil. If you don’t, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. (I mean … year!)

Ingredients:

Crust

• 1 cup warm water (about 110°F)
• 1-1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon honey
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup bread flour
• 1/4 cup coarse cornmeal (preferably heirloom)
• 1 teaspoon salt

Toppings

• 1/2 cup fresh pesto
• 1/2 large red onion, sliced (optional)
• 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced and patted dry
• 2 to 3 fresh heirloom tomatoes, sliced, patted dry, and salted

Instructions:

1. Whisk together the warm water, yeast and honey in a large bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. When the surface appears foamy, add the olive oil and stir.

2. Stir together the flours, cornmeal, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the liquid, blending with a wooden spoon until a ball forms.

3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, adding only as much additional flour to keep it from sticking. When the dough is soft and pliable, place in an oiled bowl, and flip once to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled or tripled in size, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

4. Once the rise is complete, cut the dough ball in half (or quarters), placing unused portions in plastic bags. Refrigerate if you plan to use within 2 days; otherwise, freeze.

5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a pizza stone or cast-iron pizza pan in the oven to preheat. Roll out the dough into a thin round. Once your baking vessel is preheated, place the crust on it and assemble toppings. Slather on the pesto, followed by the toppings in the order listed above and bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes.