In my ongoing quest to find tasty, kid-friendly food appropriate for the whole family, this week I chose a fun twist on traditional pizza, perfect for an appetizer or served with a salad for lunch. I found the recipe in "Fresh: Recipes for Enjoying Ingredients At Their Peak," by the editors of Better Homes and Gardens (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $29.99).
Roasted Cherry Tomato Pizza Poppers
(Makes 56-60 appetizers)
- 2 pints red and/or yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
- 2 1-pound loaves frozen pizza dough, thawed
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 12 to 14 ounces deli-sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Small fresh basil leaves (optional)
1. For roasted tomatoes, in a 13×9×2-inch disposable foil pan combine tomatoes, the 1 tablespoon olive oil, the garlic, vinegar and the 1 teaspoon fresh oregano. For a charcoal or gas grill, place pan on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat. Grill for 8 to 9 minutes or until tomatoes are wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from grill.
2. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface roll pizza dough, 1 loaf at a time, into a 15×12-inch rectangle (if dough becomes difficult to roll, cover and let rest a few minutes). Cover dough loosely and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a 2- to 21?2-inch round cutter (depending on your grill grate, the larger size may be easier to work with), cut out dough rounds. Discard trimmings. Place dough rounds on lightly greased baking sheets. Combine the 1?4 cup olive oil, the dried oregano, and the dried basil in a bowl; brush over both sides of dough rounds. Prick dough rounds all over with a fork.
3. For a charcoal or gas grill, using tongs place about 12 dough rounds directly onto well-oiled grill rack directly over medium heat. Cover and grill for 2 minutes. Carefully flip the rounds and press down lightly to flatten. Top each with a piece of cheese. Cover grill and cook until cheese melts and dough is cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove rounds; transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough rounds and cheese. Keep warm in a 250°F oven until ready to serve. Top each round with a spoonful of roasted cherry tomatoes and, if desired, basil leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you're using the oven: Preheat oven to 450°F. Cook tomatoes in oven for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Bake dough rounds on baking sheets for 7 minutes; turn and top with cheese. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes more. Top with tomatoes as above.
Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, from Fresh by the editors at Better Homes and Gardens . Photographs by Better Homes and Gardens, Jason Donnelly, Andy Lyons, and Kritsada Panichgul. Copyright 2013