Quick & Easy Fresh Tomato Focaccia Pizza

Before I get into this recipe, many hugs and much thanks for all the speedy recovery juju you sent for my little procedure last week. It was a minimally invasive dealie, and my family's been supportive as usual, so healing has been painless and easy.

It's not a super top secret thing, and I'm not trying to be coy about it, but I think the whole experience deserves a little more reflection than I can give it at the moment, so to partially satisfy the curiosity of the well meaningly curious who ventured a guess, I'll just say for now that it wasn't the removal of a tat. I'll even go so far as to tell you that I have no tats anywhere. :)

Moving along to today's recipe...

Thanks to things like greenhouses and Mexico, many of us can have tomatoes pretty much all year long, but Summer is still prime and best tomato season and a perfect time to enjoy their flavor in this Quick and Easy Fresh Tomato Focaccia Pizza.

The olive oil and the fat from the cheese will caramelize the sugars in the tomatoes during the baking process, retaining their fresh flavor, but intensifying it. Even my fresh tomato hater Joey loves this pizza. 

Since you can easily adapt the number of servings by using only as much bread as you need, this recipe is mostly a description of process with a loose guideline for measurements.

On the day I took these pics, I used a mixture of Black Prince, Oro Dulce, and Sweet 100 tomatoes.

Quick & Easy Fresh Tomato Focaccia Pizza
Time: 25 to 30 minutes

- a loaf of focaccia or ciabatta (or similarly flat-ish shaped softer, rustic bread), sliced in half lengthwise (This is one of those tasks made much easier by a bread knife.)
- fresh, ripe tomatoes. About 1 medium beefsteak tomato's worth per piece of pizza, which is about 1.5 pear type tomatoes, and maybe about 10 grape or cherry type tomatoes
- grated cheese. I recommend something like mozzarella (not fresh), Monterey Jack, Fontina, or Havarti
- about 1/4 small clove of garlic, grated, per tomato
- olive oil
- fresh basil, finely chopped or chiffonaded. About 1 leaf per tomato used
- salt

1) Preheat the oven to 400F.

2) Dice as many tomatoes as you'll need and thoroughly squeeze the excess liquid from them in a two-handed fist. (If you're like me, you'll save the juice and pulp in a little bowl and take a shot when you're done. It's a given your hands are clean when you squeeze. ;) )

3) Toss the squeezed tomatoes with about 1/8 teaspoon of garlic per tomato, about 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil per tomato, fresh basil to taste, and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors, remembering that your cheese will also be salty.

4) Spread a layer of grated cheese on the cut side of your bread first, then a layer of the tomato mixture, then a thin layer of cheese on top again to hold the tomatoes in place.

5) Bake the pizza on a cookie sheet or sheet pan for 10 to 12 minutes, or until all the cheese is melted.

And that's it!

Enjoy. :)




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