Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thin Crust Pizza with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Artichokes

I love artichokes on pizza, especially when marinated in lemon juice and herbs. They suck up so much flavor, so along with the addition of sweet cherry tomatoes, they make up a really flavorful pizza without all the weight and heaviness a cheese filled pizza has. Slightly roasting the tomatoes before baking them on the pizza allows them to get a head start on popping and releasing all the marinated flavor onto the pizza once done.

Lemon-herb marinated artichokes and cherry tomatoes, roasted until they pop with garlic and fresh basil with a quick homemade tomato sauce on fresh pizza dough.

Roasted Tomato Artichoke Pizza
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the dough
juice from one lemon & 1 tbl of zest
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5 basil leaves, chiffonade, plus more for the pizza
2 tbl fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
pinch of red pepper flakes
10 oz cherry tomatoes
1-15oz can artichoke quarters, drained and rinsed
1 head of garlic
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
fresh pizza dough
Traditional Pizza Sauce-recipe below

Combine 1/4 cup oil, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, basil leaves, parsley and red pepper flakes with the tomatoes and artichokes. Cover, chill and marinate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Cut a thin layer off the bottom of the garlic bulb, keeping the core in tact and drizzle with 1 tbl olive oil. Wrap up in a foil pouch and roast for 45 minutes until soft and sweet. When 10 minutes remain on the garlic, separate the tomatoes from the artichokes, spread in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast in the oven with the garlic.
If your pizza dough is chilled, remove from the refrigerator and package and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Roll out into a thin circle or square and let rest 10 minutes more. Place on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 425.
If the dough shrinks up a little, roll it gently out again to desired size and top with pizza sauce, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Top with marinated artichokes, cherry tomatoes and whole roasted garlic cloves.
Drizzle the crust with a little bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.
Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown and cooked through. Garnish with freshly torn basil and parsley.

Traditional Pizza Sauce
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, small dice
salt and pepper
1 tsp organic sugar
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 fresh basil leaves, whole
1-15oz can tomato sauce

Saute the onions in a small sauce pot with oil and 1/2 tsp salt until soft and fragrant, 5 minutes. Add the pepper, sugar, red pepper flakes and garlic and toast 2 minutes more. Add the basil and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the basil leaves. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

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