Pizza Margherita

Margherita Pizza. I know, I know, it is a truly terrible picture. My excuses: it was late, the fluorescent lighting in my kitchen does nothing for photos, and I am committed to showing you guys exactly what I made.

Once in a while I have a good idea. This pizza was definitely a golden moment for me. When I was younger my family travelled abroad and I ordered this pizza in a lot of different countries. Rarely have I seen it in the United States. I know California Pizza Kitchen makes a Margherita pizza, but its not on the menu a lot of places I would expect to find it.

Pizza Margherita has a pretty illustrious history, as far as pizzas go. In 1889, Queen Margherita was taking a tour of the Italian Kingdom with her husband Umberto I, and she noticed the people eating a large flat bread with toppings. The curious queen ordered her guards to bring her a pizza. She loved it, and caused quite a stir in the court by going out to eat it amongst the peasants. To resolve the issue of her social faux pax, Queen Margherita summoned Chef Raffaele Esposito to the royal kitchen, and had him bake for her, a variety of pizzas. The chef chose to make Queen Margherita a special pizza, with all the same colors as the Italian flag. Green basil, white mozzarella, and red tomatoes. He called is Pizza Margherita.

It makes for a decent story, I guess.

Here is what I did for dough:

Trader Joe’s sells pizza dough. I bought their herb/garlic offering. It turned out pretty good.

Ingredients:

1/4 pound smoked mozzarella, shredded
1/2 pound low moisture mozzerella, sliced to medium thickness
10 – 15 whole basil leaves (the more the better, in my opinion)
1 Roma tomato
4 – 6 cloves of garlic (diced medium/small)
olive oil
salt

Directions (prep):

  1. Thinly slice your tomatos (seriously, thin!)
  2. Chop your garlic.
  3. Add your garlic, salt and olive oil in a large bowl, stir and add your tomatoes to coat them. Remove the tomatoes.

Directions (assembly): Preheat your oven to 500+ degrees F

  1. Follow the directions to make your dough (or if you bought the Trader Joe’s dough, follow their directions).
  2. Spread your dough into whatever shape you desire, this is a thin crust pizza, so spread it out thin.
  3. Pour (and then brush evenly) your garlic/olive oil/salt mixture over the dough, making sure to cover the entire surface.
  4. Spread your grated (unsmoked) mozzarella over the crust.
  5. Lay your tomatoes over the mozzarella.
  6. Alternate tomatoes with medallions of your smoked mozzarella.
  7. Spread your basil out over your pizza.
  8. Put your pizza into the oven, allow it to cook until the cheese is fully melted and the crust is beginning to brown. Let it cool and then consume it voraciously!

My Thoughts

I love this pizza. Its light and it is delicious! I need to get a pizza stone, in lieu of building a pizza oven in my apartment complex. I will definitely be making this pizza again soon. As you can tell by my picture, I overcooked it just a tad this time. I would also use thicker slices of the smoked mozzarella, mostly for decorative effect.

Tonight I am making chicken caprese sandwiches. Yum!