Provençal Tomato & Goat Cheese Pizza

Last throwback from Israel’s 2011 RI recipes, promise!

Pizza is one of my household staples, especially this summer when I had a surplus of fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil from my garden. I also bake a lot of bread at home, so I often have some in-house made dough sitting in my refrigerator waiting to be used. So, in about 10-15 minutes I can slide a pretty little margherita pizza into the blistering heat of my oven and have one of my usual dinners.

Sometimes, though, I get a little bored of the classic tricolore pizza (tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella), and think outside of the Neapolitan box.

Another of my favorite ways to use up my tomatoes, is Provençal tomato and goat cheese tart, with its sweet and tangy grain mustard and honey dressing, all garnished with fresh tarragon and flavorful goat’s cheese. This combination of flavors is bright, creamy, and well balanced, so I thought, why not try it on a pizza instead of in a pastry crust. I sprinkled on a handful of pine nuts, because, well I just love pine nuts. I was not disappointed.

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

2 cups Flour (I like unbleached white, whole wheat)
1 cup Warm Water
¼ tsp Sea Salt
2 ½ tbsp Dry Yeast
drizzling Olive Oil

Pizza Topping:

3-4 each Tomatoes, sliced to ¼ inch
¼ cup Olive Oil
drizzling Honey
1 cup Chevre
½ cup Fresh Tarragon, chopped
1-2 tbsp Grain Mustard
¼ cup Pine Nuts
Sprinkling Parmesan Cheese
to taste Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper

To make the Pizza Dough:

Mix together the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water with the handle end of a wooden mixing spoon, keep stirring until the mixture begins to form into a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surfaced, and knead for 3-5 minutes.

Place back into a bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let sit for one hour. After an hour, it should have risen. Punch the dough down and let sit for another half hour. Preheat oven to as hot as it can go. This is 500 degrees F for most of us.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into an oblong shape. The trick here is to roll it out evenly, but thinly at the same time. Apply even pressure with your rolling pin ( Or large round glass bottle for those of us without a rolling pin). Gently transfer the dough to a cookie sheet that has been lightly coated with olive oil. Be careful not to tear the dough.

Press the dough into the shape of the pan. Don’t worry about it not being the exact shape of the pan, I think pizza looks better a little rustic anyway!

Drizzle a little more olive oil onto the dough, and massage it a bit. Take a fork and prick a bunch of holes all around the dough, especially around the edges, this will keep your crust nice and thin and prevent big bubbles and puffing in the oven.

Once the oven is preheated, par bake the pizza shell for 3-5 minutes, or until it starts to set a bit.

Now you are ready for the toppings

For the Topping:

Very lightly coat the shell with the mustard, remember, not too much because it can be strong. Drizzle the shell with about 3-4 tablespoons of honey. Then, spread the tomato slices out over the shell evenly. Sprinkle with half of the tarragon, and all of the chevre. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and drizzle a bit more olive oil (2 tbsps) and 1-2 more tablespoons of honey. Grate a little bit of hard cheese over the top if you have some, such as Parmeasan or Pecorino Romano. Add a couple of pinches of sea salt and some fresh cracked pepper, and slide it on into the oven.

Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown slightly and the crust turns a deep golden brown. Garnish with the rest of the tarragon.

I like to make this dough in large batches, and have some sitting in fridge, so I don’t have to wait an hour and a half to make pizza every time. Simply mix the dough, knead it, let it sit for an hour, punch it down, and then set it in the fridge. Pull it out over the next few days. When ready to use. You can also prebake the shells and stick them in your freezer if you want. Pull them out while your oven is preheating.

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