Cherry Tomato and Basil Pizza

Cherry tomatoes are so sweet this time of year you can eat them like grapes. There are always several vendors at our local farmers markets that sell the packages of mixed varieties so you can try types may not ordinarily buy. While they’re great raw, a little heat can really bring out their flavor. The star of this recipe is the slightly charred tomatoe sauce. It’s so flavorful and simple that you’ll never want to use jar pizza sauce again. If you want a more authentic margherita pizza, use fresh mozzerella instead of grated.

Get a pint of mixed variety tomatoes.

Heat a large skillet with a little olive oil. Saute tomatoes until skin starts to char.

Transfer to bowl and mash with potato masher or fork. Drain extra liquid.

Cherry Tomato and Basil Pizza

Recipe inspired by


  • pizza dough – you could make your own or buy ready made. I use Publix raw dough in the deli section. 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 heaping pints of cherry tomatoes 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed 
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat to 425 degrees. Roll dough out onto a baking sheet. Form into a 12 x 8 rectangle. 
  2. Heat large skillet over medium – high heat 2 minutes. Add oil, then tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until tomatoes are charred – about 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.  Drain off excess liquid. Mix in garlic, fennel, and crushed red pepper. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
  3. Sprinkle half of cheese and basil (reserve a few tablespoons for garnish) over dough. Spoon tomato mixture onto cheese. Top with remaining cheese. Bake pizza until crust is crisp and brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove pizza from baking sheet. Garnish with basil leaves before serving.

1 Comment

  1. roz
    August 10, 2011

    What a great classic summer combo for pizza! I love it and your photos are stunning!


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