What shall we make for tea-time at our romantic inn?

This is a question we ask ourselves every day.  Each afternoon at 4pm, the dining room is set with  all the fixings for a spot of tea ( iced or hot, depending on the time of year) and some treats both sweet and savory:  the cakes, tarts, shortbread cookies and other delights are instantly recognizable.   With the savory items, though, we sometimes stray outside of the usual finger sandwich fare.  How about pizza for tea time??  You may remember our “pizza by the fire” special.  We think we’ve perfected a really good, thin crust ready for whatever toppings we decide to use.  It really comes in handy now that the tomatoes and other vegetables in the garden are taking over the place.  We have tons of beautiful French eggplants; they are the long and slender kind.  Slice a few into thin rounds and they are perfect for pizza.  With a simple sauce of fresh tomatoes and basil, and topped with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan, the eggplant pizza was a big hit!

BEFORE:

AFTER:

If you want to try this at home, but don’t think you have the time to make your own crust, have no fear.  Did you know that your local pizzeria will most likely sell you some unbaked dough?  Heck, they’ll probably even sell you some sauce, too, but if you have extra tomatoes lying around, there is no need to go that far! This is a terrific way to make your own pizza at home:

Just seed, juice, and then chop up some tomatoes. Add some finely chopped garlic,  fresh basil, oregano if you like it, and  salt and pepper to taste.  Let the mixture sit in a strainer over a bowl to get out as much moisture as you can.  You can cook it down a little bit if you want to, but it’s not really necessary.  Think about any combination of vegetables, meat and cheese that you like.   Turn your oven way up (think 475 degrees),  sprinkle some corn meal on a cookie tray,  roll out some dough nice and thin.  Don’t even worry about making it even or round.  It can be square or oblong or any shape it turns out to be.  Carefully place the rolled out dough on the cookie tray and then cover with tomato sauce and then your toppings,  making sure not to go all the way to the edges.   Place the tray on the floor of your oven.  This helps the bottom get nice and crispy.  In about 10-12 minutes you’ll have a great, fresh, made at home pizza!  Don’t forget to let it cool for just a few minutes before you slice it so that the cheese doesn’t slide all over the place.

Enjoy and if you try it, let us know what your favorite combination is.  Who knows, maybe it will show up at tea-time when you are here!!!

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