Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Pizza Irene

on 08/28/2011

Takes more than a hurricane to keep people from going to the annual Tomato and Garlic TasteFest at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA.  Last year, Michael and i “happened” upon the museum because of their colorful sign advertising the T/G Fest and afterwards became members of the museum.  (It has a wonderful garden!)   The TasteFest is quite interesting.  Tomatoes you’ve never seen or heard of in all shapes, colors and sizes–and you get to taste test them!  Same with the garlic.  Pungent, pungent and more pungent.  I do the mateys and Michael does the garlic.  Let’s just say that vampire visits are not a problem for a couple days.  Anyway, we enjoyed it again and came away with packets of seeds for three of my favorite tomatoes and a bulb for one of his favorite garlics so hopefully next summer we’ll be enjoying our own.



Persian Star

This led me to think about tomatoes, garlic and a recipe which as usual leads down multiple paths until….

Pizza.  I adore pizza.  One of the best foods every invented, wouldn’t you say?  Tomatoes and garlic are a very necessary part of pizza, so grande!  Pizza it is.  After wandering here and wandering there and then following the White Rabbit down the Rabbit Hole, the pizza idea has developed.  But what to name it?  After, again, numerous considerations, a thought forms: why not name it for the hurricane?  Thus, Pizza Irene was born.

Hope it will be a direct hit with you and you’ll feel a surge of longing when the thought of pizza strikes your mind.  Just one piece could lift you out of your depression  and, without warning, waves of happiness could wash over you.

Next blog post: what to do with an overabundance of corn.

Pizza Irene

Favorite pizza dough (homemade or package mix, prepared)

Cloves of garlic, roasted

Basil, fresh or dried

Parmesan cheese

Roast beef, shredded

Cream cheese, softened

Mozzarella, sliced or shredded

Swiss cheese, sliced or shredded

Prepare pizza dough as directed.

Slice tomatoes into thin slices (if using Roma tomatoes, cut in half and remove core and seeds.)  Prepare garlic.  Place tomatoes and garlic on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Roast in a 325 degree oven for one to three hours, depending on tomato type and thickness.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Grease pizza pan.  After rolling out dough, sprinkle Parmesan cheese across top.  Bake at 450-500 degrees for five to ten minutes.

Crush cloves of garlic. Use amount of garlic that suits your taste.  Add crushed garlic and chopped/dried basil to softened cream cheese, mixing thoroughly.  Spread cream cheese mixture across pizza dough.  Top with tomato slices, shredded beef, swiss and mozzarella cheeses.

Bake until cheese is bubbly.

Pizza Irene

Dunne, Irene


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