Thursday, 19 July 2012

Pizza Beyond The Leaf!

Pizza Caprese Piu
Pizza Caprese Plus

It's amazing what a few simple improvements to the traditional ingredients can make to simple dishes like a pizza Caprese. Using a real Mozzarella di bufala and upping the flavor with a little red Thai basil and a few drops of sesame oil... well, who knew? But the result was really delicious! So who cares? Right?

The cool thing about simple dishes with only a few ingredients, is that you also only have a few flavors going on. So if you have good flavors and they enhance each other rather than competing... well that can only be a good thing!

Tomato, basil and mozzarella- yes we all know and love this combination! As a pizza, there are many versions of it- be it a tomato sauce and cheese version that is baked together, or a plain white where the tomatoes and cheese are added once the pizza dough has been baked and has cooled off again...

For my version, I did a sort-of in-between thing, baking the base briefly, adding the tomatoes and cheese to finish baking and then removing one last time to add the basil at the very end.

I shaped my dough and rolled it out thinly, then covered it with a handful of thinly sliced cherry tomatoes and spread out a little of the Buffalo Mozzarella in-between. I seasoned with salt and coarsely-cracked pepper corns, drizzled it very lightly with olive oil and off it went into the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350-400°F, until the tomatoes had rendered down and developed a richer, fuller flavor.

I then fetched the pizza out again and turned my attention to the basil, both the traditional large-leafed green one and the exotic red-leafed variety from Thailand. I moistened my fingers lightly with sesame oil and rubbed the basil leaves to give them a light glaze to protect them a little from the oven- because that is where it went- into the oven for a minute, until the basil had wilted a little. Enjoy it hot with a glass of chilled white wine! Easy and fun!

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