First in what promises to be a long-lasting affair with homemade pizza, I present to you a seasonally appropriate, tomato laden pizza bianca that’s sure to shift your expectations about this basic, often much-too-rich pizzeria classic. Using marinated heirloom tomatoes and three cheeses, I think you’ll be able to enjoy this pizza on even the most sweltering fall days.
I often like to make my own pizza dough – once enthusiastically explained to my boss and met with an unceremonious “that’s nice.” It’s kudos-worthy to make it on your own but totally not necessary this time. It’ll do just fine on something picked up from your local chain supermarket or even your favorite pizza chain. Local ones will definitely bag you up one if you call them in advance and inquire! I’ll be sharing my dough recipes in the future, rest assured.
- 1 pound of store-bought pizza dough (proofed at room temperature)
- ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup whole milk shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 oz. natural goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 T. italian herb paste (or a palmful of fresh mixed oregano, parsley, basil)
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ¼ t red pepper flakes
- 1 big heirloom tomato or several small ones
- ¼ c. sherry vinegar
- ¼ c. cornmeal for dusting
- 1 T + olive oil
- 8 oz. chicken breast tenderloins (optional)
- 1 T. sun-dried tomato pesto (optional)
Start by preheating your oven to 450° Fahrenheit or 230° Celsius. I always like to preheat the oven far in advance for an even oven temperature, at least 30 minutes before the pizza goes in the oven. Set your dough on top of the oven to proof a bit quicker if needed.
First, prepare the tomato. Slice it horizontally and place it in a bowl with the sherry vinegar to get marinating. Then turn your attention to the ricotta cheese. Take the ½ cup and add it to a bowl, along with your herb medley, 1 T of olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes to taste. Mix thoroughly and check seasoning, add salt/pepper to taste. Let both of these rest while moving to the dough.
Prepare a 13” pizza pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Spread evenly across the surface and dust with cornmeal. You don’t have to use the full ¼ cup just ensure there’s enough on the surface to keep the pizza from sticking. Roll out your dough on a floured surface and stretch with your hands or a floured rolling pin. Once you’ve got the dough rolled into the general shape of the pan, transfer it over and stretch the dough to the edges, curling the edges of the dough(if you wish) to make a crust.
Finally, assemble the pizza. Start by spreading your ricotta mixture, covering it with mozzarella cheese and crumbled goat cheese. After that, remove your tomatoes from their marinade and space them evenly across the top. Finally, feel free to drizzle some olive oil across the top for extra moisture when the pizza bakes. Put it in the oven, rotating after about 8 minutes. Pizza should bake until the edges are crisp and the cheese starts to take on a nice golden color. Top with some chopped parsley or eat it as-it-is!
Creator’s Notes: I made this pizza for an unapologetic group of carnivores, so I grilled some chicken and tossed it with sun-dried tomato pesto and lemon juice. While this pizza can stand on its own without meat, it is an admittedly nice addition. Other possible additions could be our garlic confit, a drizzle of our garlic infused olive oil, or our parsley oil – all coming soon.