Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pizza! Pizza!

We're big pizza-lovers in my house. And it's no surprise, really. I'm sure if I searched for the stat of the amount of pizza consumed in America, the total would be staggering.

I grew up eating pizza. It was a staple at birthdays and other parties. It was served every Friday for lunch from elementary through high school. And it was a popular Friday night dinner during Lent.

Everyone has their favorites: plain, pepperoni, sausage, vegetable, white. I'm no exception. Except my favorite was my grandmother's homemade pizza. She didn't make her own dough; she would buy it from the local pizzeria. What made her pizza so special was her sauce -- which, unfortunately, I can't replicate -- and all the love and care that went into every pie. I remember a few backyard parties as a child. The neighborhood kids would be sitting around the table in my backyard, and my grandmother would be in the kitchen baking pie after pie until the kids couldn't eat another slice.

Now I'm grown, married, a mom, and we frequently make our own pizza. Typically we make traditional pies and top them with everything from ricotta to pepperoni. But in the late summer, when the tomatoes are at the height of their sweetness, we switch gears.

Looking for something to do with all the tomatoes my dad harvests from his garden, I found this recipe on It's simple, full of flavor, and the perfect way to combine my love for pizza with summer's bounty.

Quick Pizza Margherita

Recipe from Cooking Light
Makes 4 servings


  • 1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Unroll crust dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 13x11-inch rectangle. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove crust from oven, and brush with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Rub crust with cut sides of garlic.
  3. Arrange tomato slices on crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden.
  4. Combine 1/2 teaspoon oil and vinegar, stirring with whisk.
  5. Sprinkle pizza evenly with sliced basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over pizza. Cut pizza into 8 pieces.

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