January 26, 2011

roasted tomato pizza margherita

My first job out of college in 2009 was a Bookkeeper/Office Manager at a real estate firm in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was wonderful to actually use my degree. I learned so much in that position. I also met wonderful people who made my time there memorable.

I remember when I first met my co-worker Katie, we started talking about food of course. When I found out she was a total foodie, it was all over from there. Even though I've moved back home to Delaware, we still talk every couple days and I value her friendship so much. For example, she called me last week just to tell me that she bought a sweet new pot that she couldn't wait to make soup in. Gotta love it.

Katie is a vegetarian. I realize most of my lunch/dinner recipes have meat - I am a meat lover through and through. This pizza is vegetarian, for my Katie.

The best part... you only have to buy 4 things at the store: pizza crust, tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella.

When I wrote this recipe, I had every intention of roasting tomatoes in the oven until they were bursting with delicious flavor. Then I was going to throw them in the food processor and use it as the "sauce" for this pizza.

But life got in the way. I worked late last night, then when I finally did get home I wanted to work out because bridesmaids dress #1 is coming up in April... you understand. By the time I was ready to start cooking dinner, it was after 7:00 and I had a very hungry boyfriend/parents on my hands.

So I grabbed a can of crushed tomatoes and hoped for the best.

But please roast your tomatoes and let me know how it goes.

Assembling this pizza is very easy, since I used store bought dough. I really reached deep into my culinary knowledge for this one, huh? So just roll out the pizza dough, spread evenly with pureed roasted tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and slices of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle the whole pizza with olive oil, salt and pepper. In the oven it goes!

I love the idea of having a strong tomato flavor, instead of using pizza sauce or any other tomato sauce for this. It's just tomatoes. Perfect compliment to the other ingredients.

The mozzarella cheese spreads out evenly and melts beautifully. Oh gosh, I love this stuff. It tastes so fresh and wonderful.

My mouth is watering.

This one is so easy to make, it took me literally 5 minutes to put it in the oven. Perfect for a busy weeknight when you work late, still have to go home to exercise for 30 minutes and have hungry men standing in the kitchen staring at you with sad eyes like they haven't been fed in days...

I hope it gives you an idea for your busy weeknights!

Roasted Tomato Pizza Margherita

print recipe

5 large tomatoes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
1 bunch fresh basil (8-10 leaves)
1 package refrigerated pizza crust (I used Pillsbury)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half, then in quarters. Lay in an even layer on a baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes. Using tongs or your fingers (carefully!), peel the skins off the tomatoes. They should fall off easily. Discard skins and put tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Pulse or blend until smooth, set aside.

Drop oven temperature to 350 degrees. Roll out pizza dough onto a baking sheet. Spread tomato puree onto the crust, then place whole or halved basil leaves randomly around the pizza. Slice mozzarella about 1/4 inch thick, spread slices over pizza. Drizzle everything with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until crust is brown and cheese is melted.


  1. Margarita pizza is the best. I love the fresh ingredients and how flavorful they are! Looks divine ;)

  2. So delicious! I enjoyed a piece of this very pizza for breakfast this morning :)

  3. Jenna- You are the sweetest, I am so touched for the blog shout out. I miss our daily office conversations, but am relieved we have alternate methods of communication to keep in touch, and anxiously await every new post. I have said this to you via email, but it's wonderful to see how much love you experience being home with Michael and your family- we miss you in NJ, but I could never argue that home is where the heart is. Or as ADM and I say to each other (on loan from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros), "home is wherever I'm with you."

  4. another great blog, jenna. you have successfully made me salivate. and your shout out to kfo'h couldn't have been more apropos.

    to echo her sentiments, it is wonderful to see your happiness bursting through. we are so very happy for you, and for that i will let slide the "my katie" comment. yours and my battle to win the affection of kfo'h shall be continued... ;)

  5. oooo pizza! i haven't had a good one in awhile since i became vegan, but your post makes me want to start exploring my options now! btw, congrats on top 9 the other day for those yummy bars!

  6. I love margherita pizza...when my husband and I went to Italy a few years ago I am pretty sure we ate our weight in it! :) This looks delicious....I must give it a try! :)

  7. This is my favorite kind of pizza. It simply can't be beat! I love the twist of roasting the tomatoes too.

  8. Thank you everyone! I love these flavors together. It's one of my favorite pizzas - #1 being barbecue chicken pizza, of course.