Tuesday night I decided to make pizza using fresh mozzarella I bought at the farmer's market last week. I wanted to make something simple, quick and super delicious. The key to this pizza is to use good quality ingredients and let them shine. Thus, no tomato sauce!!! I call this creation Pizza Caprese Plus because it has the same ingredients as Caprese Salad (tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil) but also contains olives.
Pizza Caprese Plus
Pillsbury Pizza Crust (I used thin crust...the one you buy in the refrigerator session in a can)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed and cut into a few pieces
good-sized pinch red pepper flakes
2 large tomatoes, sliced
18 olives, pitted (I used 18 because it's a happy number in Judaism...obviously you can use as many as you want, there is no need to count; also, pitting the olives conveniently "cuts" them in half.)
large ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
fresh basil leaves, torn (tearing the leaves instead of cutting them prevents the leaves from turning black and keeps most of the flavor intact.)
1. Preheat the oven to 475 with a cookie sheet inside.
2. Meanwhile, microwave olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes for about 45 second. I learned this trick from Big, Bold, Beautiful Food. This technique allows the oil to get infused with the flavor of garlic and pepper flakes (the pepper flakes were my idea).
3. Once the oven is preheated, cover the cookie sheet with parchment paper, and then unroll your pizza dough, brush it with olive oil (leave the garlic behind) and bake for 8 minutes.
4. Remove the pizza crust from the oven and layer it with tomatoes, mozzarella slices, olives and fresh basil. There is no need for salt & pepper because olives are salty enough and you already have the spicy factor from red pepper flakes.
5. Bake the pizza for 4-6 minutes until the cheese melts.