|Olive Garden Caprese Flat Bread|
Camparis are deep red and larger than a cherry tomato, but smaller and rounder than a plum tomato. The popularity of the campari took off in North America in 2002, following a brief appearance on the television mafia drama "The Sopranos".
According to Wikipedia the campari was originally from Europe and introduced in North America in 1997 by the Mastronardi Produce company, based in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada. Paul Mastronardi, a fourth-generation employee at the company, experimented with about 60 varieties of seeds before settling on the campari."
The campari focuses on big flavour and not size. One of their major producers is here in British Columbia which means we have juicy tomatoes all year round. According to Marie of Proud Italian Cook "they are sold in clusters still on the vine to ensure freshness, grown in a greenhouse herbicide free, always unblemished, sweet, and delicious." Try her Roasted Campari Tomatoes. One of those things you would never regret!!
This is one instance where "size doesn't matter"..... "Good things come in small packages"...I am quitting while I am ahead!!
I did alter the recipe a little by using dough from our local neighbourhood pizzeria. They even baked it for me in their pizza oven and then brushed it with the garlic infused oil they put on the crust. I took my cooked dough rectangle home and carried on from there. Also I am a "tomatoes after" kind of a gal so added the tomatoes to my flat bread concoction in the last 4 to 5 minutes of baking.
Olive Garden is an Italian chain restaurant across North America for those of you who haven't ventured there.
**Olive Garden's Caprese Flat Bread**
8 Roma or plum tomatoes, diced (I used Campari's which are delicious in the winter)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 medium fresh basil leaves, stemmed and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
7 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
11 oz container of refrigerated thin crust pizza dough ( You can use frozen pizza dough/I used pizza dough from our neighbourhood pizzeria)
1 garlic clove
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (no garlic powder in these cupboards)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 grated/shaved Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F
Dice tomatoes into small pieces and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add chopped garlic, salt, pepper, 1/2 of the chopped basil (about 1/4 cup), and 4 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
Set aside and allow the mixture to marinate for 10 minutes.
Flatten pizza dough into a rectangle making sure you take the dough to the edge of the pan.
Drizzle the dough with extra virgin olive oil and brush it over the surface.
Bake the dough in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub, cut side down, on to the surface of the bread. The warmth of the bread will help extract the garlic flavor. Allow the bread to cool completely, about 10 additional minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.
Combine mayonnaise and garlic powder in a mixing bowl. Evenly spread onto the surface of the bread. Top with shredded mozzarella to evenly cover the surface.
Drain the Caprese mixture, (because the salt will have extracted water from the tomatoes), and spread it evenly over the bread. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Return to the oven for 5-7 more minutes until golden, crisp and bubbly.
Garnish with the remaining chopped basil and serve immediately.
You might also be interested in:
Marinate Caprese on a Stick
Golden Bruschetta with Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Pesto
Grilled Flatbread with Ricotta Cheese and Fresh Tomatoes
Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart
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