Monday, August 25, 2008

Trader Joe's, Pizza and other culinary tidbits

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have a Trader Joe's within a couple miles of my home. For those of you who already shop at TJ's, you know that it is so much more than a grocery store.

I do about 75% of my shopping at TJ's and they offer more and more organic fruits and vegetables as well as really interesting specialty and vegetarian foods. My only complaint is that occasionally, a product I love will just disappear off the shelf - never to be seen again.

My new favorite find at TJ's is their selection of fresh pizza doughs. They have a few different flavors (plain, whole wheat and herb whole wheat) and I went with the whole wheat with herbs and it was GREAT! My BF and I made a simple Margherita pizza and used tomatoes and basil from my dad's garden (sadly, you can't see the basil in the picture).

We had a tough time rolling and stretching out a perfect circle with the dough, but it was tasty all the same.

This isn't the exact recipe I used, (I didn't actually use a recipe at all) but it's pretty darn close.

Pizza Margherita
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 lb. plum Roma tomatoes, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 12" uncooked dough crust
* 6 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
* 6 fresh basil leaves cut into julienne strips
* extra virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Combine 2 Tbls. olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, and salt in bowl.
2. Allow to marinate while making dough.
3. Brush dough crust lightly with olive oil.
4. Top with cheese, then tomatoes.
5. Drizzle with olive oil.
6. Bake in preheated 500F oven on pizza stone for 8−10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
7. Remove from oven and top with parmesan cheese, then basil.
8. Cool on a wire rack for 2−3 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

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