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Pizza Margherita with Tapenade

April 10, 2012

by Elizabeth

While husband was out of town last week and I was on a eatonlycheeseformeals bender, I played the throw everything in the fridge on pizza dough game one night. I had grabbed some fresh mozzarella at Central Market (one of three cheeses in my cart for 4 days thank you very much) and found the jar of leftover Ligurian Olive Paste lurking in the back of the fridge along with some cherry tomatoes and basil on its last leg. Now I love a traditional Pizza Margherita as much as the next girl, but the tapenade really gave this pizza an extra oomph of flavor. Fresh mozzarella really makes all the difference on a pizza this simple, don’t skimp and try to use the generic low-fat block here.

Pizza Margherita with Tapenade

1/2 lb pizza dough – regular or part wheat
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons purchased olive tapenade or Ligurian Olive paste
5 – 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons of chopped basil
extra olive oil for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 450˙ with a pizza stone or upside down cookie sheet in the oven. Roll the dough out on a floured pizza peel or parchment paper until it is very thin and about 12 inches in diameter. If the dough pulls back and won’t stretch, let it rest with a towel covering it for 10 minutes and then try again.

Brush the olive oil all over the dough, especially on the crust. Spread the tapenade evenly across the dough. You don’t want it to be too thick so it’s not overpowering. A little goes a long way. Scatter the tomatoes and mozzarella across the pizza. Slide onto pizza stone. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling. Remove from the oven, drizzle with a little more olive oil and salt and pepper if desired. Scatter basil on top, slice and serve immediately.

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