Somewhere, deep inside my Italian self, there is a pizza dough.
But for now, I am just a pizza crust fraud. I use a crust that I get at my local food co-op, that is awesome, and comes out of the freezer in a lump that I leave on the counter all day and pretend to be “making.” Or if I am brave, I try someone else’s recipe (usually a so-so endeavour). I do want to learn, and I will. But just not now. Because now is tomato season--and there are so many pizzas to make, and so many pizza sauces to make, and so many bags of pizza toppings to make and freeze--so that I can have garden fresh pizza in January (when I am teaching myself how to make a good dough).
And now that I have confessed, on to the good stuff. Which is to say that once you have an awesome dough to work with, the rest is cheese and tomatoes.
Rainbows of tomatoes. The definition of Midwestern garden and farmers’ market in July. There are a few weeks in the middle of the summer when everything is just so juicy and beautiful that my counters disappear under mountains of color, and I have a million ideas for what I want to cook, and there are just not enough hours in the day. The main thing to remember when this happens, is to let the ingredients speak for themselves. When the tomatoes are perfect, let them be. Which is just what I did after the market this week. I made a tomato rainbow pizza, and it tasted just like this:
1 Pizza dough (the one that you love the most)
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
½ cup flour
1 Splash of extra virgin olive oil
1 Ball of mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
A rainbow of tomatoes -- 4-10 depending on the size, sliced
2 sprigs of fresh basil, torn into pieces
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 550 degrees
Sprinkle sesame seeds and salt on your baking surface
Shape dough into round using flour to keep it from sticking to your hands, matching the size of your pizza stone or baking sheet
Place your dough on top of the sesame seeds and salt
Pour enough olive oil on the surface to lightly cover when rubbed over with your hand
Place the slices evenly across the pizza dough
Place the tomatoes on top of the cheese in a circular rainbow pattern
Scatter the torn basil on top of the tomatoes
Bake the pizza until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 15-20 minutes
Remove from the oven, let sit for a few minutes, slice, and serve