Happy New Year friends and welcome back from a much needed holiday break! This weekend I spent some time getting back into the kitchen and I couldn't have felt more at home--I love being in the kitchen when I still have some morning sun to work with and wish there were more days I could utilize the natural light that floods in before noon.
For 2013 I've resolved to continue to expand my culinary horizons, take some risks and when time allows--spend all day if needed to develop flavors unparalleled to anything I've ever created. I think we can all spend a little less time watching the clock these days.
I stared at some bulk tomatoes I purchased last week and just knew they were meant to be paired with goat cheese and basil and balsamic on the world's most delicious pizza.
Three and a half hours, a freshly organized closet, some cleaned floors, and a deep cleaned bathroom later , I had the sweetest most delicious roasted tomatoes that I want to prepare 100 different ways (roasted tomato jam I'm looking at you!). Side note: perfecting homemade jam is on my kitchen bucket list for 2013, along with a carry-over from 2012--cooking a whole pig. Roughly chopped and paired with a generous schmear of goat cheese on homemade pizza crust, these babies were highlighted in all of their sweet delicious glory. The drizzle of a balsamic reduction (sounds so fancy, its not!) made this one of the most impressive dishes to date (think bite sized versions to serve as finger foods for your friends to "ooh" and "ahh" and lick some plates in the most lady-like fashions)!
Deb, over at Smitten Kitchen inspired the most important components of this dish!
roasted tomato & goat cheese pizza
(makes 1 12"-14" round pizza)
For the tomatoes (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
- 6 medium roma tomatoes halved
- ~1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ~ 1/2 tsp salt
- ~ 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
For the crust:
Use Deb's recipe over here at Smitten Kitchen, OR hit up your local grocery store in the deli department and pick up a 16 oz ball of fresh pizza dough ( I won't tell if you won't tell).
For the reduction:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar brought to a low boil until reduced by 1/2 (and thickens to coat the back of a spoon).
- 6-8 oz goat cheese
- ~1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- ~ 2-3 cloves of garlic, grated
- ~ 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat your oven to 500 degrees, yeah I know--just do it.
Stretch your dough until even and thin and place on the back of a baking sheet, pizza stone, or pizza pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and evenly coat. Using a fork, poke holes all over the crust, then grate the garlic over the crust. Bake for 5-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the roasted tomatoes in thirds. Remove the crust and smear on the goat cheese in a thin, yet generous layer--the heat from the crust will make this easy to spread.
(At this point, in a small sauce pan, heat your vinegar over medium heat. When it begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened).
Top with the tomatoes (and any juices that were lost during the chopping). Bake an additional 5 minutes. Top with the basil and bake another 2 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and drizzle with the balsamic and just the tiniest pinch of salt OR 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese (trust me, it'll balance out all the sweetness from the tomatoes and balsamic and taste like heaven).