I received this recipe from my sister, Jen. It has quickly become a favorite of ours. This is one of my granddaughter’s, Bella, favorite recipes too. She is not a big fan of pizza, but she loves this pizza. It is so easy and fun to make. Adding the balsamic glaze adds a touch of elegance and sophistication. At first the grand kids looked at me like I was from another planet when I added the balsamic glaze, but once they tried it, they were hooked! We love it this way! You can even add your favorite toppings to personalize it and make it your own, just the way you like it! Enjoy!
- 13.9 ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough – I use Pillsbury Classic Crust. You can also use your favorite pizza dough crust.
- 1 Tablespoon oil – I prefer coconut oil, but use what you have
- 20 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 – 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, coarsely crushed – We really like
- the fennel seeds so I use 2 – 3 teaspoons (optional)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or pearls
- 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed red pepper – optional
- shortening or cooking spray
- Balsamic Glaze – found near the balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Unroll dough on a heavy, large baking sheet that has been coated lightly with cooking spray or shortening. I use an 11″ X 15″ jelly roll pan. Gently stretch and pull the dough until it reaches the edges of the pan. Push up dough slightly on the edges to form the crust. Pinch together any tears to seal the crust. Pop any air bubbles.
Bake the pizza crust for about 5 minutes or until it is slightly brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil and tomatoes, being careful not to get burned by the splattering oil. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes are charred and starting to break down. Pour tomatoes into a large bowl. Crush tomatoes using the back of a fork, but leave them chunky. Add fennel and red pepper. Toss gently.
Sprinkle about 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese on the baked pizza dough.
If using the sliced fresh mozzarella, cut each slice in quarters. If using the pearls, use as is. Add the fresh mozzarella on top of the shredded mozzarella.
TIP: It is really easy to chiffonade fresh herbs such as basil. Just stack the leaves, roll them into a long cylinder shape, and slice with a sharp knife. That’s it!
Using a spoon, dollup the tomatoes on top of the cheeses. Sprinkle the sliced basil on top of the tomatoes. Add the remaining shredded mozzarella.
Bake pizza until crust is brown and the top is bubbly for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Cut pizza and drizzle with Balsamic Glaze. Enjoy!
TIP: I often make this pizza with roasted vegetables instead of the tomato mixture. I just slice red, yellow, orange, & green peppers, onions, and portabella mushrooms and then roast them until tender. Then just follow the rest of the instructions, substituting the roasted veggies for the tomatoes. Use whatever veggies you prefer. Delicious!
TIP: Here is another great tip to try when having any kind of pizza at home. We were made aware of this while on a trip to Italy. All of the restaurants in Italy served their pizza with balsamic vinegar. We tried both the white and brown balsamic vinegar, but prefer the white because it is a little milder. So now we always have balsamic vinegar to dip our pizza into. Try it! You may be surprised as to how good it really is!
P. S. Make sure to leave your comments. I love hearing all of your ideas too!
All images © 2020 Sue Ragan Hollow All rights reserved.