Rustic + Grilled Kalamata Tomato Sauce

>> Thursday, July 11, 2013

So, I've got my pesto pizza crust ready to go. But no sauce or tomato puree in sight. 
Oh, crap! No mozzarella either. 
A half container of ricotta left, but it'll go South starting tomorrow. 
Must use tonight. Hmm. 
Wait. What's this? I spy a sleeve of kalamata tomatoes! 
Looks like the basil plant is doing well from all the rain we've had lately, too.

Drip, drip.

Basically, you've all just taken a trip inside my head around dinnertime. I've been wanting to fire up the grill and take our pizza adventures to the great outdoors, but it seems like afternoon thunderstorms are always in my way. This weekend. It's going to be epic -- the grilled bruschetta pizza I'll make. Promise!

But in a pinch, using what we had on hand last Thursday allowed us to go beyond our usual roasted veggies and cheese-heavy pie.


goes great atop pesto pizza crust or on any other pizza recipe

What you'll need . . .

  • 6 to 8 kalamata tomatoes (you may use whatever tomatoes you have, though! the heartier, the better.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt + pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano + rosemary

Method . . . 

  1. Chop your tomatoes head to toe into thick slices (about four per tomato). Toss into a large bowl with the olive oil and other ingredients. Toss around until well coated.
  2. Preheat your grilling pan* for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Then plan your tomatoes atop the grill and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Flip and cook another 5 minutes. Flip again and continue until the tomatoes start to get grill marks and release their juices.
  4. Once they get goopy, start mixing the sauce around in the pan and take off the heat. Let cool and remove from pan and continue mashing until desire consistency (we left our tomatoes rather whole).
* A grilling pan isn't required to make this recipe, it will just give those nice blackened grill marks. You can also use a regular fry pan with similar results.

The sauce truly was the star -- majorly chunky + rustic -- and the dollops of ricotta were light. Almost sweet, lending perfectly well to the freshly picked basil I grabbed right before the afternoon's second deluge of rainfall.

To cook your pizza, just preheat your oven to 450 degrees F, preferably with a pizza stone preheating as well. Roll out your pizza dough and then cook it for about 4 minutes before taking out of the oven and flipping over. Put on your toppings -- including the basil and perhaps a shake or two of Parmesan -- and bake for about 15 more minutes. Until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

I gladly tackled this half myself.


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