Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tomatoes make the pizza

When it's time to make pizza, don't forget that the tomatoes really make the pizza.   Here are a few tips to making the best pizza ever.

1. If fresh basil is available, layer whole leaves before putting the tomato layer in place.
2. If you are using whole tomato slices, cut the tomatoes thin and place them on top of the basil. 
3. Whole milk mozzarella is one of the best cheeses to use with tomato slices. Cut it into thin slices. (don't attempt to grate it) Also, you don't need to put it on as thick as shredded mozzarella. Leave large gaps between the cheese slices.
4. If you don't have many tomatoes, consider chopping them into chunks and add to the pizza after it comes out of the oven.  This will allow you to enjoy the maximum amount of flavor from a smaller portion of tomatoes.
5. If you are wanting to make a quick sauce from fresh tomatoes, be sure to allow some time to simmer the tomatoes with olive oil, onion and garlic to reduce the moisture content.  If you place too many large chunks of tomatoes (especially slicing tomatoes) on a pizza, it could make the crust runny. 
6. Add spices and fresh garlic just before baking, so as to retain the flavor.  If you add additional layers on top of the tomatoes (as shown at right), be sure to bake the pizza until it is extra crispy as it will take longer to fully bake. 

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