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« Farro with Kale, Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella | Main | Poached Cod in Lemon Fume Broth »

Late Summer Pizza with Four Cheeses, Sweet Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Oregano

Cherry-tomato-pizza3

 

The story this week is that the  ripe cherry tomatoes from our farm share was remarkable for their juicy sweetness -- so when Elise asked if we could have a pizza night I knew those little beauties had to have the star position.

This is a simple pizza made of the most basic ingredients: cheese, tomatoes, oregano, onions, garlic and a few bits of meat and olives. As I usually do when using fresh tomatoes for a pizza topping, I dried them for a while in the toaster oven and this seems to have increased their sweetness. The combination of the sweet juice with the bacon bits and tasty cheese mixture, accented by the fresh oregano, made this a memorable pizza of the season.

We ate this pizza with a simple green salad, accompanied by a bottle of pinot grigio and Kenneth Branagh's exuberant and summery HBO Films version of "As You Like It" -- with memorable performances by Kevin Kline (Jacques) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Rosalind).

Late Summer Pizza with Four Cheeses, Sweet Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Oregano

pizza dough for a 12 - 14" pizza
4 slices smoked bacon, cut in 1" pieces
25 cherry tomatoes
3 oz manchego cheese, shredded
3 oz fresh mozzarella, shredded
3 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
2 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
12 oil-cured black olives, pitted, chopped
leaves from 3 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
zest from one lemon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced thin, slices cut in half
olive oil

After the dough has completed the first rising, form it into a pizza shape and place on a peel scattered with cornmeal. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise about half an hour in a warm place. Set the oven, with pizza stone in place, at 450º to preheat.

Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, toss them in a tablespoon of olive oil and lay them out on a plate. Dry in a 300º oven for about 25 minutes (I use a toaster oven for this). They should be just starting to look a little crinkly when finished. Set aside. Cook the bacon until not quit crisp. Drain on paper towels. Mix the cheeses in a bowl.

When the dough is ready, spread it with a tablespoon of olive oil and the onion slices. Scatter on the garlic. Bake on the hot stone for about 9 minutes at 450º.

Slide the pizza out of the oven and spread on the cheese mixture. Then place the bacon pieces on the pizza in an 8-pointed star pattern and top each spoke with a handful of the tomatoes. Scatter on the chopped lemon zest and return the pizza to the oven. Lower the setting to 400º and bake another 8 - 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the edges of the crust are turning brown.

Remove from the oven, brush the edges with a little olive oil and scatter on the oregano and chopped olives. Slice in 8 slices.

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Comments

Hi Stephen, I've just found your website for the first time. It's a fantastic collection of recipes!

The pizza looks great. I like your tip about drying the tomatoes a little first - I bet it helps keep the pizza nice and crisp as well as concentrating the flavour

4 cheese pizza has been my longtime favorite - funny that I've never made one... vegan years notwithstanding... I'll be bookmarking this recipe for sure. great tip about the tomatoes - oh, and look, i've got some fresh ones from the farmers market....

He's at it again with the amazing, mouthwatering pizzas. I knew it was only a matter of time before yet another one would appear. Have you no shame? ; )

Love the tip about the tomatoes in the toaster oven. I use mine every day but never thought to toast tomatoes!

Stephen,
Wonderful cheese mixture! I assume your manchego was fairly young and still relatively mild? (An old manchego can give parmigiano a run for its money). And the tart goat cheese was a perfect addition.

Actually, the whole thing looks great, but the cheese leapt out at me.

Stephen-

Great looking pizzas as always! Goat cheese on a pizza is always a secret addition that adds some bite to the taste.

Lovely pizza, Stephen. The cherry tomatoes look an awful lot like the ones I've got growing in my yard.

simplicity in pizza is an absolute must. sounds delicious. and i adore the photo.

That's a good looking pizza! I wish I had a better oven for pizza making. Mine's a little on the small side and I think the calibration is off. It's not impossible, just difficult.

I've only been on your blog for a few minutes, and I love it already! As usual, I overplanted and underestimated my tomato crop again, and so this recipe helped me to use up the bounty from my garden.

Instead of the oregano, I used a generous amount of chiffonade of basil (also from my garden) for that fresh garden taste. DEELISH!

Hi Stephen - This is my first time here, and all I can think to myself is, "how have I missed this delicious blog?"
Wow..your recipes sound sooo good and the pictures are gorgeous...I'll be back!!

Stephen
Love the idea of toasting the tomatoes???? Will definately try it with the few cherry tomatoes i have left - those that Jenny did not eat while watering--lol

Stephen,
As always your photos are mouth-watering. I adore my ancient toaster oven and yours is the first blog I recall seeing mention one of these gems for use with recipe prep.
I will definitely be using my toaster oven for my last few tomatoes.

This looks so yummy! Pretty much any dish with four cheeses is A-OK by me :)

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