We are a pepperoni pizza family. That’s our stable when it comes to pizza. However that doesn’t mean we won’t entertain other ideas. A couple years ago we were shopping at a grocery store and we looking for something to eat for lunch there. My wife spotted the Margherita pizza. She wanted to try it. Turns out she loved it. We thought it would be something we would try to make ourselves at home. For some reason it took us a couple years, but when finally gave it a whirl this month.
A Margherita pizza is a sauce less pizza. It has olive oil, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, and cheese (typically fresh mozzarella). The pizza is named after honor of the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita. The pizza has all the color of the Italian flag. It’s a great summer time pizza, especially if your a gardener. You grab a tomato right off the vine and clip some basil from your herb garden. Doesn’t get any fresher than that. Plus I don’t know about you but on a hot summer day, I am not really up to making my own sauce, so slicing a tomato sounds a lot more appealing.
Beefsteak tomato (or similar variety)
Good quality olive oil
Cheese of choice (fresh mozzarella, mild brick, or tuma are my favorites)
Pizza dough (I use Paula Deen’s recipe that makes two pizzas)
Fine grain corn meal
This pizza is more about method than instructions. Make it that way you want. Here are some guidelines to follow:
1. Slice your tomatoes as thin as you can. I like to use a serrated bread knife.
2. Per pizza I use about 8 oz of cheese.
3. You have the option of putting the basil leaves down whole or you could slice them into a chiffonade, which involves rolling the basil leaves into a log and slice it, so it’s like a ribbon.
The order for ingredients goes – olive oil, then cheese, then tomato slices. I roll my pizza out into a flat rectangle and bake them on a half sheet pan. I sprinkle some corn meal on the sheet pan first. Bake your pizza on the highest temperature your oven can manage. Once the crust is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it, the pizza is done. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing.