Monday, August 26, 2013

Cherry Tomato Pizza Recipe



It's hard to say no to cheese. Since I never tasted Parrano cheese I was more than happy to accept a sample to try.  Apparently it has been around since the 1970's but I can't recall ever seeing it at the market. It's a semi-firm cheese created by a Dutch cheese maker who went to Italy and was inspired to create a Gouda that would be reminiscent of Northern Italian style cheese.  It's aged for at least 5 months and often described as tasting like a cross between Gouda and Parmesan. I'm not sure I agree with that assessment, but I can tell you it's buttery and has a caramel like flavor that complements tomatoes beautifully. 

I've been inundated with cherry tomatoes recently and decided I would use them on a pizza with Parrano cheese. I also happened to have some grilled marinated artichokes and that combination is really something. I added chives for a little color and oniony flavor, but really, just a plain cherry tomato pizza would be delicious too. The good thing about using cherry tomatoes instead of tomato slices and Parrano cheese instead of mozzarella is that neither will make your pizza soggy. That said, biting into a cherry tomato half can be a deliciously juicy experience. 

I love artichokes, but mostly the marinated ones available in jars are not very good. Recently I found Cucina & Amore  grilled marinated whole artichoke hearts in a local grocery store and decided to given them a try. They are now a staple in my pantry!  They are all natural and I think the grilling is what really makes them so outstanding. If you can find them, give them a try. 



Cherry Tomato Pizza 
Two 10 inch pizzas

Ingredients

1 lb pizza dough, at room temperature
Olive oil
2 cups parrano cheese
2 cusp cherry tomato halves
2/3 cup drained marinated artichoke hearts, preferably roasted (optional)
1 Tablespoon chopped chives

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide the pizza dough in half. Lightly oil pizza pans and push the pizza dough into the pans, until it reaches the edge, if if shrinks, gently stretch it back into shape. Top each pizza with 1 cup of cheese and 1 cup of cherry tomato halves. Tuck 1/3 cup artichoke hearts between the tomatoes. Bake until the crust begins to turn brown around the edges and is crisp, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle chives on the pizza before serving.

Enjoy!