During a recent photoshoot, my son Zach took time from his busy day of new fatherhood and running his growing catering company to make us lunch: a simple, delicious pizza piled with tomatoes.
This summer has been hard on my garden. Many of my herbs have simply withered away, and my tomatoes have been scorched in the harsh sun. Between the drought and my absence in travels, I’m surprised (and thankful) I’ve managed to gather a few heirloom tomatoes.
Over the years, I have shared my favorite recipes for tomato sandwiches, tomato pie and pico de gallo. You can even find a piece on tomatoes and fashion on our journal. I have a decided passion for the juicy red orbs.
For lunch, Zach made an heirloom tomato flatbread pizza using yellow and red tomato varieties that we picked out of my yard that morning.
This simple pizza suits hot Alabama days. A drizzle of olive oil brings the flavors of the tomatoes to life—no tomato sauce needed. Fresh basil and crumbled farm cheese pair perfectly with homemade pizza crust. Zach baked the rolled-out dough (recipe below) at 425°F for approximately 10 minutes before adding the toppings to give it a slightly golden appearance.
After baking the crust, choose your favorite available tomato varieties. Wash and slice the tomatoes, then cut in half. Drizzle dough with olive oil and arrange tomatoes on top of olive oil. Top with fresh basil, farm cheese, salt and pepper, to taste. Bake again at 425°F until cheese is hot and the pizza crust is crispy.
ZACH’S PIZZA CRUST
2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoon granulated yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
In a large bowl working with a wooden spoon, mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water.
Mix in the flour without kneading. Use a stand mixer or your hands, your preference.
Transfer dough to large bowl or covered container. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses, about 2 hours.
The dough can be used immediately after it rises. However, it is easier to handle when it is cold. Refrigerate in a covered (not airtight) container. Dough can be stored for up to 12 days. The crusts can be prepared and pre-baked ahead of time for special events, or to save time before a meal—perfect for a busy night.
*Pictured above: Alabama Chanin for Heath Ceramics red clay dessert bowl is the perfect size for our serving of farm cheese.