When three cheeses just aren’t enough: amped-up margherita pizza

Vast fields of mozzarella, amber waves of melted fontina, all studded with roasted tomatoes, feta, and torn basil leaves: is there anything better?  (Maybe money.  Money would be nice.)

This was yesterday’s dinner (and today’s breakfast/lunch, naturally): a margherita pizza on phyllo dough.  It’s loaded up with four cheeses, but the phyllo crust makes it seem somewhat less artery-clogging.  Add that to the sharp-sweet taste of the roasted tomatoes, and while the caloric content is probably astronomical, you can convince yourself it’s almost healthy.  Or you can try.

Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine – here’s how I made it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box phyllo dough, thawed
  • 8 oz shredded whole-milk mozarella (more or less to taste, we’re not going for scientific accuracy here)
  • 4-8 oz shredded fontina
  • Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • olive oil, for roasting the tomatoes and brushing the phyllo  (quantity: lots)
  • feta, for sprinkling on top
  • salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, salt, a bit of basil (dried works best here) and enough olive oil to generously coat.  Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 20-22 minutes, until the skin of the tomato is just wrinkly and the tomatoes look like they’re ready to collapse.

Meanwhile: start preparing the phyllo crust.  Phyllo is finicky, so cover it with a damp kitchen towel while you’re working, and work fast.  Brush each layer of phyllo with olive oil, then sprinkle a bit of parmesan on top.  Repeat until you have 10-12 layers of phyllo assembled.

Brush the top layer with olive oil, then sprinkle the mozarella and fontina over the top, leaving a border (Bon Appetit suggests 1/2 inch).  Added roasted tomatoes and torn fresh basil.  At this point, I thought three cheeses couldn’t possibly be enough, so I sprinkled feta over the top as well.

Bake for about 20-24 minutes – near the end of the baking time, watch closely.  The cheese should be golden, and the phyllo should be just crisp.

Serves 2-3…or just me.

(Goes well with Mirror Pond Pale Ale, too.)

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6 responses to “When three cheeses just aren’t enough: amped-up margherita pizza

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