Recipe of

Heirloom Tomato Pizza

  1. Process:
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 2 cups basil leaves
    • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 oz mild goat cheese
    • 1 tsp salt (or less if goat cheese is very salty)
  2. Spread the pesto-goat cheese on:
    • 2 Boboli or other pre-baked pizza shells
  3. Arrange on top:
    • 2-3 lbs heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  4. Sprinkle with:
    • 1-2 c shredded mozzarella or monterey jack
    • 1/4 c grated parmesan
  5. Bake @450 degrees for 10 minutes.

I’ve tried this recipe with the best “conventional” tomatoes I could find, and it doesn’t work — you really need the much more intense flavors of heirloom tomatoes to stand up to the pesto base.

I get my tomatoes from a local CSA here in NJ, and they’re beyond fabulous. My personal favorite of the full-size tomatoes is Cherokee Purple. Tuesday during the season is Heirloom Tomato Pizza Night at my house. I like to use a combination of Cherokee Purples (astoundingly rich, full flavor), Brandywines (lighter-flavored), and Green Zebras (tart and sprightly) to maximize color and taste.

The tomato blight has been really bad this year, the farm lost almost all the conventional slicing tomatoes. Some of the heirloom varieties, though, have proved resistant — as might be expected given their greater genetic diversity.

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