Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Late-summer tomatoes brighten an easy appetizer

Recipe: Make cherry tomato focaccia with pizza dough

Pizza dough baked with cherry tomatoes and herbs is a delicious late-summer appetizer.
(Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Cherry tomatoes usually are the rugged survivors of the summer vegetable-growing efforts, even when the rest of the plants have given up the ghost.

If like me you still have plenty of little tomatoes, you might want to make this herby focaccia. It uses pizza dough as the base, but don’t worry, there’s no messing around with yeast here. A 1-pound bag of premade dough is easy to find these days in the deli sections of supermarkets as well as at specialty food stores. The recipe works with whole wheat dough just as well as regular wheat; I haven’t baked it with other varieties, but if you’re on a gluten-free diet, give this a try with your favorite alternative.

The type of cherry tomato doesn’t matter, although the focaccia looks great with several colors and shapes. This recipe works even with grocery store cherry tomatoes, so grab a pint basket of them if you’re out of your own — something to try in the dead of winter when our 2018 gardens are mere memories. Use chopped fresh basil or thyme to taste if you’re not a fan of rosemary.

Serve this as a party appetizer, an accompaniment to soup or salad, or alongside a plate of pasta.

Cherry tomato focaccia
Serves 8-12 as an appetizer
Adapted from a Whole Foods recipe and other sources

Ingredients :
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to grease the pan
1 pound prepared pizza dough, removed from wrapping and left out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes to warm and soften
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a large, heavy baking pan (such as a 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pan). Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into the center of the pan. Place softened dough into the pan and, using your hands, gently flatten the dough. Flip dough over so both sides are coated with oil.

Work the oil into the dough gently and stretch the dough out as far as you can across the pan until it wants to snap back. Let the dough rest 5 or so additional minutes at room temperature, then stretch it again until it fills (or almost fills) the pan.
The main ingredients are olive oil, cherry tomatoes and pizza dough.

Press the tomato halves cut-side down into the dough. Brush the last 1 tablespoon of oil on the dough, particularly along the edges. Sprinkle with salt, rosemary and Parmesan cheese.

Bake until the top is very brown and the tomatoes collapse, 25-30 minutes. Cool bread in the pan 5 minutes, then remove and place onto a large cutting board. Cut into desired serving sizes (a pizza cutter works well.)

Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.


0 comments have been posted.

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.


Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!

Local News

Ad for California Local

Thanks to our sponsor!

Summer Strong ad for

Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

Taste Summer! E-cookbook


Find our summer recipes here!

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!