Strawberries, Tomatoes & Basil

May 12, 2015

 

 

Balsamic-marinated strawberries, lemon-mint ricotta, caramelized onions, mozzarella, garlic-roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh basil

This pizza is an updated version of one of our earliest pizza creations, back when we were just starting to experiment and we didn't know how to take a good picture to save our lives. We also didn't write anything down back then, so all we had was a dark photo and our questionable memory. But we were pretty sure we remembered it being tasty, so we wanted to try making it again anyway—only this time, prettier and with some written evidence. We added the mint and lemon to the ricotta to prove how much fancier we've gotten since our early days, and turned a balsamic drizzle into a marinade for the strawberries, letting them macerate and really soak up that tangy flavor. All in all, I'd say we weren't totally misguided when we created this way back when, since this one turned out delicious.

Recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 ball of pizza dough

flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone

olive oil

salt & pepper

10 ounces (or so) cherry tomatoes, halved

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 ball of mozzarella, shredded

handful of fresh basil leaves

1 onion, sliced

1-2 teaspoons brown sugar

dash of sherry vinegar

butter (optional)

 

For the ricotta:

1/2 cup ricotta

zest of 1 lemon

1 sprig (about 1 tablespoon) mint, minced

 

For the strawberries:

4-6 strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375° F. While it's heating, start caramelizing your onions. Heat some butter (or olive oil if you prefer) over medium heat and add your onion slices. Once the pan is hot, reduce the heat to low or medium low and let the onions simmer.

 

After about 20-30 minutes, you can add a pinch of salt & a couple pinches of brown sugar, and a dash of sherry vinegar. Let the onions soften and caramelize for a while—I like to let them sit on the heat for at least 45 minutes total (if not longer), but if you're short on time, they'll still be pretty soft and tasty a while before that.

 

Meanwhile, toss your tomatoes and garlic with some olive oil, salt & pepper, then spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 20-25 minutes in the oven, until the tomatoes are nice & soft and smell delicious.

 

While they're cooking, mix your marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl and add the strawberry slices, doing your best to make sure they're all submerged (if not, you can give them a stir every once in a while). Let these macerate while you prepare the rest of the pizza.

 

When the tomatoes are done, take them out and increase the oven temperature to 550° F, or as hot as it will go. Next, mix your ricotta ingredients together until fully combined.

 

Once your oven is hot and the rest of your pizza components are complete, prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. After you've baked it for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil.

 

Top your pizza dough with the mozzarella and a generous layer of caramelized onions. Add the strawberries, tomatoes & dollops of the ricotta mixture and then pop it in the oven, baking until the crust is a nice golden brown. Take it out, finish it with the fresh basil leaves on top, and enjoy!

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HOW TO PREPARE DOUGH

#1 

Start stretching it from the center, then move it around in a circle so that gravity stretches it and creates a natural crust. It helps to put some olive oil on your hands first.

 

#2

Place the dough on your floured surface & push it out with your fingertips until it's the size of your pizza stone. You can fold over the edges to create an extra fluffy crust.

 

#3

When the oven is hot (preheat it with the stone inside), sprinkle some semolina flour on the pizza stone and place your dough on it.

#4

Bake it for about a minute, or until it starts to bubble, then take it out. This last step isn't 100% necessary, but I feel like it adds a little extra crispiness to the crust.

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