Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pizza, Caprese-Style

Sometimes, everything just comes together. It's the timing, the mood, anything and everything, and the next thing you know, you have the perfect dish.

And that's how this dish came to be.

It started with fresh mozzarella. My husband had some up from Fairway Market in New Jersey the day before. I saw it when I did my quick "fridge check" for my weekly shopping list. And while I didn't pay any immediate attention to it, it stuck in the back of my mind.

Next I hit the farmers market. My first stop each week is Gould's Produce. When I saw the beautiful tomatoes, I flashed to the mozzarella in my fridge, and immediately knew what I wanted to make for dinner. Feeling adventurous I picked up some summer squash and zucchini, a side dish in mind.

After all my usual stops, I made one last stop: Mountain View Vineyard's booth. I sampled a few wines, ultimately leaving with the Split Rail Red. Because with all this fresh produce and the beautiful weather, I knew a glass of wine was the perfect way to cap it all off.

The dish that came to me that Saturday morning? Pizza Caprese. A spin of the caprese salad I decided to use the flavors to give our usual weekend pizza a unique twist. I swapped basil pesto for the traditional basil leaves, but took advantage of the fresh tomatoes and mozzarella available to me.

I served the pizza with zucchini and squash -- sauteed with shallots, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano -- and a chilled glass of wine out on our deck. There was not one drop of humidity in the air and a gentle breeze blowing.

Everything just came together: the idea, the ingredients, the wine, the weather. It was the perfect meal, capping off the perfect day.

Pizza Caprese

A Country Cooking Original Recipe
Makes 4 servings


  • 1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 3-4 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 2-3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced


  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.
  3. Remove crust from oven and spread basil pesto over it, leaving a 1-inch border. Then arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on crust.
  4. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden.
  5. Cut pizza into 8 pieces.

I know this isn't the best photo. Please be patient with me; I'm still learning.

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