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posted: 9/3/2014 6:30 AM

Tara's BLT Pizza

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  • Tara Riley partnered tomatoes from Whole Foods Market with vegetables from her garden and Fontina cheese to make a BLT pizza.

      Tara Riley partnered tomatoes from Whole Foods Market with vegetables from her garden and Fontina cheese to make a BLT pizza.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer


1 bag store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature

½ cup flour for rolling dough

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about ¾ cup)

6 ounces (about 6 slices) bacon, cooked and chopped

½ bunch (5-6 stalks) green onions, finely chopped

Ground black pepper, to taste

2-3 firm heirloom or Roma tomatoes, sliced ⅛-inch thick

1 medium firm yellow or orange tomato or other firm variety, sliced ⅛-inch thick

1 cup finely chopped arugula or fresh spinach

¼ cup shaved parmesan

Heat oven to 450 degrees and set oven rack to top position.

Lightly grease a 14" pizza pan or pizza stone with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil, remove excess w/ paper towel.

Flour your hands and a pastry board. Use your hands to work the dough gently; shape into a ball, flour all sides of the dough, flatten the ball. Use a rolling pin and additional flour, to roll the dough from the center outward to create an even circle ¼- to ½-inch thick and 2 inches larger than your pizza pan. Sprinkle on additional flour, turn the dough over, adding flour on both sides of dough to prevent sticking, as you roll. Toss dough in the air and say a prayer -- just kidding, that's advanced ;-) Place shaped dough on the pan (or stone) and by rolling and pinching the outer edge into the pie, press to form an ridge or "crust." Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of the entire dough. Use your hands to spread the oil to coat evenly over the entire top of the pizza including the outer crust.

Distribute Fontina cheese, bacon and green onion over the pizza (avoid the crust) and reserve a pinch of fontina. Grind black pepper over all. Carefully arrange the sliced tomatoes in rings around the pizza do not overlap tomato slices and leave the center uncovered. Sprinkling the remaining Fontina over the tomatoes. Bake for 10 minutes on the top rack.

Remove from oven. Quickly place chopped arugula in center (it will cover some tomatoes). Return to oven and bake 5-8 minutes until edges are golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle shaved parmesan cheese over the pizza. Let pizza sit for 5 minutes before slicing into wedges. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Makes one 14-inch pizza; serves three to four.

Cook's note: On a summer day, cook this pizza on the grill with a pizza stone. Cooking time may vary, a hot oven and short cook time is best.

Tara Riley, Arlington Heights

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