This post WAS going to be an end-of-summer gardening report, possibly a lament about how many tomatoes I’m getting compared to how many I can use, but instead I’m going to throw down my new favorite garden-fresh pizza margherita recipe. The amounts are approximate–I know a lot of people would want more cheese–but the basil, I’m serious, it should be like a whole salad on there. It turns out that the dough keeps well for a week or better in a plastic bag, so I make this a quarter of a pizza at a time. As I mentioned on Twitter, I’m sure if I ever start making this with a scratch crust I’ll ascend directly to heaven, but, well, I’ve got video games to play. Pillsbury it is.


– 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust (classic)
– 12-20 small-to-medium tomatoes or 20-24 cherry tomatoes

– 2 T olive oil
– 2 T apple cider vinegar

– 2 T sugar
– 1 T coarse-ground salt
– 1 t black pepper
– 2 t garlic powder

– 1/3 t olive oil
– 1 c fresh chopped basil
– 1 c fresh mozzarella cheese

Cut the tomatoes in half and lay them cut-side up on a baking sheet. If using small-to-medium size, scoop out most of the pulp; if using cherry tomatoes, leave it there. Mix the olive oil and vinegar and drizzle over the tomatoes. Combine the dry ingredients and sprinkle it over the tomatoes, reserving about 1 t. Roast the tomatoes in a 450 F oven for 15-20 minutes or until just before the skins begin to blacken. Remove from oven.

Reduce the oven temperature to 425. Spray a baking sheet with oil and sprinkle corn meal; then unroll the pizza dough. Roll up the sides slightly to form a crust. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle the rest of the spice mixture on the edges of the crust. Using a fork, slide the tomatoes off their baking sheet and arrange on the dough. Cover evenly with basil and top with cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crust is crispy and cheese begins to brown. Eat, and eat, and eat.