Panzanella Pizza

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Is anyone else still juggling dozens of summer tomatoes? You may have heard of a bumper crop, but this summer, we ended up with several cardboard boxes of heirloom tomatoes from my parents’ organic garden. We were literally bumping into them at every turn in our kitchen. We considered opening a small farm stand or something. There were tomatoes in yellow, orange, red, green  and purple. Grape-sized, roma-variety and huge fat juicy ones bigger than our hands. These jewels became an embarrassment of riches – the plants were taller than the family house and yielded a constant stream of perfect tomatoes. My parents dried them, canned then, grilled them – and still had enough to give away entire boxes to friends, family, neighbors and shelters.

We made jars of salsa and pasta sauce. Ate endless tomato sandwiches. Tossed them in pasta and salads. And then one evening, we came up with this simple, yet delectable tomato pizza recipe.

Panzaella Pizza

2 lb. fresh whole wheat pizza dough (make your own or try Trader Joe’s)

1/2 cup vegan pesto (try our recipe!)

1 container vegan cream cheese (we used Toffuti brand)

5 to 7 medium size heirloom tomatoes, your favorites

about a dozen mini tomatoes (like cherry tomatoes)

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 cups fresh arugula

1/4 cup sliced black olives

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 and shape dough into two rectangles, each about 12″ by 9,” rolled very flat. Bake in oven on a sheet pan or pizza stone for about 12 to 15 minutes until crisp.  Cool until no longer hot to touch.

Meanwhile slice the heirloom tomatoes and mini tomatoes to uniform thickness. Stir together pesto and vegan cream cheese.

Slather pesto/cream cheese mixture evenly on baked crust. Layer tomatoes and arugula on pizza; top with olives and green onions.

Slice each pizza into 8 pieces. Serve room temperature.

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