Author Topic: Smoked Cherry, Grape or Farmers Market Tomatoes for a Pizza Topping or a Sauce  (Read 2270 times)

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Offline Pizza Pirate

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  • Location: Newport Oregon
    • A Posto Personal Chef Services LLC
I have been playing around with smoking and roasting tomatoes for either adding as a pizza topping or using as a final pizza sauce. I use a Wolf gas/convection oven and a pizza stone setup at home. I was intrigued by the smokiness found in pizzas baked in a WFO and I wanted to see if I could replicate some of the smokiness in using smoked tomatoes versus the standard canned tomato approach on my gas stove setup.

This winter, I bought grape tomatoes and tried several approaches. I have a stove top smoker made by Cameron and it allows me to smoke vegetables and fish right on my cooktop. The Cameron is a great cooking item as well as it mighty handy when camping. So I tried several setups in smoking the tomatoes first for about 20 minutes and then finishing them up in the regular gas oven. I took the tomatoes and drizzled them in a little EVOO, salt, pepper and a tiny splash of balsamic vinegar. I smoked them in the Cameron using Alder Wood and then roasted them for about 30 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees. I roasted the tomatoes until they started to carmelize and get toasty brown.

In one batch, I used the tomatoes as a topping for three different pizzas. One was a white pizza and the other two had a SM based pizza sauce. My roasted tomatoes were very sweet and really added a nice flavor appeal to the pizza taste. The smokiness in the tomatoes was a little light so I need to experiment more with the smoking process.

In another batch I took the roasted tomatoes and the cooking liquid at the end of oven roasting, and added them to a saute pan. I then reduce the mixture by a half on the gas cooktop and then used the remaining tomatoes as a sauce. I have tried this approach with both cherry and grape tomatoes with similar success. The flavor of the reduced sauce is really vibrant. When you are sauteeing the tomatoes, you can add more salt, oregano, or even a little bit of brown sugar to change the flavor attributes of the pizza sauce.

I was wondering if anyone has experimented with smoking tomatoes? With summer here and the bounty of Farmer Market Tomatoes coming on board, now is the season to play with fresh tomatoes. Thanks for your responses.

 :chef: Bruce

Offline The Dough Doctor

  • Tom Lehmann
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I've used a BBQ with apple wood chips to smoke and bake pizza, and I've used smoked cheese on many a pizza, all with good success, so why not smoked tomato? I'm not so keen on the idea of adding any sugar to the tomatoes as this will only encourage scorching of the tomato or sauce during the baking of the pizza. On the other hand, the quest that most people go on when looking for a pizza sauce is one of that just picked, garden fresh tomato flavor. Any cooking of the tomato prior to its use as a pizza sauce actually reduces the delicate flavor profile of the tomatoes. This is not to say that a sauce made with your smoked tomatoes will be bad, it will just be different, and in the world of pizza, different can be good. Flavor, like beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor