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Old 08-02-2006, 06:59 PM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Amazing tomato-garlic pizza!

Someone on the Cooks Forum on CompuServe quoted a tomato tart recipe from Martha Stewart’s cooking show that caught my eye. It called for pâte brissée (aka butter pastry) and fresh tomatoes). I try to avoid butter, my bête noire, and could not for the life of me find the latter at this season, but we needed something for dinner tonight, so I decided to improvise. Here is what I did:

1. Sent Jack to the Stop & Shop for fresh pizza dough. (If you do not live in the U.S. Northeast or in southern Italy, this may not be an option. Sometimes pizzerias will sell you dough, but if not, make a pizza dough of flour, yeast, salt, water, and, if you like, some decent olive oil).

2. Took a head of garlic, drizzled olive oil over it, wrapped it in aluminum foil, and baked it for 30 to 45 minutes in a 350 °F degree oven, until a sharp knife pierced each clove. Set it aside to cool.

3. Sliced the best tomatoes I could find into quarter-inch-thick slices. Salted them lightly and placed them on a rack in a 400 °F oven, and roasted them until slightly crinkled and dried out. Set aside.

4. Coarsely grated about a cup of fontina cheese. Mashed the roasted garlic with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Cut a handful of basil leaves into shreds.

5. Stretched about two-thirds of a pound of dough into a rough circle, about a quarter inch thick and 13 inches in diameter. Placed it on a piece of parchment paper, trimmed roughly to fit.

6. Spread the roasted garlic/olive oil mixture over the dough. Sprinkled cheese lightly over that, and placed basil shreds over that.

7. Spread the tomato slices over the dough, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkled more cheese lightly over the tomatoes.

8. Slid the pizza on its parchment onto the quarry tiles* in the bottom of my 475 °F oven, and baked it for roughly fifteen minutes (until the crust was brown, the cheese bubbly, and other signs of cooked pizza arose).

9. Gobbled it up with a nice zinfandel.

*If you do not have a pizza stone or quarry tiles in the bottom of your oven, place a stack of aluminum half-sheet pans on a lower shelf in while pre-heating and use them. But really, it is best to have stones. A batch of 6-inch quarry tiles is cheap and useful for all sorts of cooking.

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