Last week, we received two beautiful tomatoes in our crop share. I looked at them, then at our basil plant, and felt an intense desire to make a Margherita Pizza. I heeded this desire perhaps mostly because the high temperature was in the 70s, and it seemed an ideal opportunity for oven-use.
So, the whole wheat pizza crust from Trader Joe’s that had been lurking in the freezer came out to thaw. There were several items, however, that I was not stowing away so handily…
Hurdle #1: lack of a rolling pin. I overcame this challenge by neglecting to create a circular crust. My crust was proudly amorphous. (This did admittedly cause some egg yolk-slippage issues down the line, to be fair)
I drew inspiration and instruction from two recipes: the New York Times Recipes for Health (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/07/health/nutrition/07recipehealth.html?ref=tomatoes) and one from Never Home Maker (http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/07/rustic-pizza-make-it-tonight.html). I essentially followed the NYT recipe, except for the eggs, which I borrowed from NHM.
Hurdle #2: lack of a thermometer. The NYT recipes calls for garlic olive oil, and provides instructions for how to make it. I was happy with my results, despite my inability to measure the temperature of the oil. So even if you don’t have a thermometer, just do your best and make the oil regardless. It’s very tasty.
After I made the oil and “rolled” out my crust, I sliced my tomatoes. After oiling the crust, I covered the dough in mozzarella and arranged the tomato slices on top.
After baking for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, I attempted to crack 2 eggs on top of my beautiful pizza. My proudly amorphous crust, however, had a more sinister idea.
Hurdle #3: Egg slippage caused by rugged crust terrain.
After my first egg slid off immediately onto the pan and began to sizzle next to, not on top of my pizza, I quickly made the exact same mistake with the second egg. Why, you ask, would I do something so stupid? (You wouldn’t be the only one to inquire…)Well, I was feeling rushed– I didn’t like the pizza hanging out outside of the oven. (Still ridiculous, I know). Anyway, with some spatula-induced coaxing, I herded my renegade eggs onto the pizza (mostly) and got it back inside.
I hadn’t gotten my poor decision making out of my system, evidently, so I took the pizza out too soon. In my own defense, it was an easy mistake to make. The crust looked ready, but once we cut into it, it was very obviously not cooked through. So back in it went. When it was finally ready, I topped it generously with torn basil, salt, and a nice drizzle of balsamic. I thought it was delicious, Ray wasn’t as enthused. Despite the 3 major hurdles, I’d definitely make it again. But next time, I’ll try to minimize any silly mistakes, and perhaps invest in a rolling pin first.