I love pizza.
If it were up to me, I would probably make pizza for dinner every night.
And eat the leftovers for lunch. Maybe even breakfast.
Luckily, my husband and daughter inspire me to make more balanced meals.
Otherwise I’d probably be in trouble.
But hypothetically speaking, if I were to eat pizza every day, this is the one I would choose 95% of the time.
Tomato Pizza Ingredients
What makes this tomato pizza so good is the simplicity of its ingredients.
Tomatoes and basil are just a classic pair.
And then you add some freshly grated mozzarella and Parmesan.
(Or omit the Parmesan and use your favorite vegan mozzarella to keep this pizza vegan. I prefer Miyoko’s Organic Cashew Milk Mozzarella.)
But my favorite parts of this pizza are the balsamic drizzle—which is as simple as it sounds, just drizzle a little balsamic over the pizza after baking—and the homemade herbed crust.
Whether you’re a skilled homemade pizza dough maker, or have never made any sort of bread dough ever in your life, my herbed pizza crust recipe is incredibly easy. It comes together in minutes, and then only takes 10 minutes to rise. You can literally make this dough from scratch, and have the pizza in the oven 15 minutes later.
For someone who’s as obsessed with pizza as I am, that’s almost a miracle.
You can use your favorite pre-made dough or crust if you’re too strapped for time, or just not in the dough-making mood. (Which definitely happens to me on occasion, so I get it. !!). But I’m telling you, the herbs and garlic in my homemade dough recipe are that final flavor note that makes this tomato pizza so perfect for spring and summer.
Make This Tomato Pizza!
So when the pizza craving strikes, make my Balsamic Tomato Pizza with Herbed Crust. Afterwards, I’m sure you’ll understand why 95% of the time, I make this pizza every time.
Olive oil is a pretty central part of this recipe.
Since this tomato pizza has no sauce, I spread a little bit of olive oil over the dough after rolling it out, and before putting the toppings on. It just helps to lock in some moisture, and adds some good flavor. Then, there’s 1/4 cup of olive oil in the dough recipe itself. And I also like to drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the tomato pizza after baking, when I do the balsamic vinegar drizzle.
So you need a good olive oil here.
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And in my book, the best olive oil is PJ KABOS, straight from the vineyards of the Panagiotopoulos family in Greece. Trust me, once you try this stuff, there’s no going back. It’s smooth, mild, and unbelievably fresh.
Balsamic Tomato Pizza with Herbed Crust
For the yeast:
- ¼ cup warm water
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
For the rest of the dough:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ½-1 cup warm water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups mozzarella, freshly grated (use your favorite vegan brand, I prefer Miyoko’s Organic Cashew Milk Mozzarella, to keep this pizza vegan)
- ½ cup Parmesan, freshly grated (omit to keep this pizza vegan)
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 Tbsp basil chiffonade
- Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- Olive oil, for drizzling (optional, but highly recommended)
Activate the yeast
- To a small bowl, add the warm water, salt, brown sugar, and active dry yeast. Whisk with a fork, and let sit for about five minutes, or until the yeast activates. The mixture will get foamy/bubbly.
Make the dough
- To a medium-sized bowl, add 2 cups of flour, the diced garlic, and Italian seasoning. Stir together.
- Now add the yeast mixture and the olive oil to the flour mixture. Stir until the dough starts to come together. It will look a little shaggy at this point.
Add the rest of the flour and water
- Now add the remaining ¼ cup flour, and keep mixing with a spatula or your hands. The dough will be a little dry at this point, so start adding the warm water. Go slowly, you may not need to use a whole ½ cup of water, and you may need to use up to 1 cup of water.
- Keep adding the water and incorporating it into the dough with your hands or spatula until a nice, slightly sticky dough forms. It should stick to your hands slightly when touched.
- If the dough is sticking more than slightly to your hands, add a little more flour. If it is too dry and not sticking to your hands at all, add more water until you reach the slightly sticky consistency.
Let the dough rest
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cover the bowl of dough with a towel, place it on top of the warm oven, and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- If you won't make the pizzas right away, you can divide the dough in half, wrap each half in saran wrap, and refrigerate the dough until you're ready to proceed with the pizza. You can also freeze the dough for up to 2 months.
Roll out the dough
- Divide the dough into two disks. This recipe makes two, thin crust pizzas. I prefer to roll the dough out directly on the baking sheet, but if you don't have two baking sheets (one for each pizza), you can also lightly flour your countertop, and roll the dough out there.
- Note: If you will only make one pizza right away, you can saran wrap the other dough disk, and put it in the refrigerator to bake later. Just be sure you halve the cheese, tomato, and basil measurements as well.
- Roll out the dough to about 11 inches by 15 inches. It will be an oblong shape that pretty much follows the shape of the cookie sheet.
Compile the pizza
- With your hands or a kitchen brush, brush the top of each pizza with 2 tsp of olive oil.
- Now sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella) over each pizza.
- Next, arrange the tomatoes evenly over each pizza. Use 1 cup of tomatoes per pizza.
- Last, sprinkle ¼ cup of Parmesan over the top of each pizza. (Omit to keep this pizza vegan)
Bake the pizza
- Bake one pizza at a time, at 375 degrees for 12 minutes, or until the cheese slightly browns and the crust is golden.
Drizzle the balsamic (and olive oil)
- Now take your balsamic vinegar, and lightly drizzle 1-2 tsp over the pizza. Remember, a little bit goes a long way!
- If your drizzle is uneven, that is ok. After you drizzle the balsamic and olive oil (if using), take the cookie sheet in your hands by each side (wearing oven mitts!) and gently rock the sheet so that the balsamic (and oil) spread evenly over the pizza.
Serve and enjoy!
- Now sprinkle 1 Tbsp basil chiffonade over the pizza.
- Repeat the baking, drizzling, and basil-sprinkling on the other pizza.
- Slice the pizzas into squares, and serve!