Margherita Pizza

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Margherita pizza is one of my favorite summertime foods. It tastes the best with garden fresh tomatoes and basil. Generally, I am overrun with basil and looking for ways to use it. This year I bought a mint plant and a chocolate mint plant. They were both impulse buys since I have absolutely no clue what to do with them besides use them for photo props and making mint tea. Maybe I will learn how to make a mint julep this summer. Any suggestions for using it up in cooking I’d love to hear. Sorry, I kind of drove off course didn’t I? Back to the margherita pizza.

I have seen this made several different ways. Some use a red pizza sauce, some use white sauce, others garlic. I like mine best with a garlic infused olive oil base with juicy red or yellow tomatoes providing the tomato flavor. I make my own garlic infused oil by slicing 2 or 3 garlic cloves thinly and putting it in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in an oven proof small dish, like a ramekin. I place this dish in the oven as it is preheating for the pizza. I take it out when I can smell the garlic.

In the winter when the tomatoes aren’t so juicy and delicious, I add a spoonful or so of pizza sauce to the base. (Or I skip it altogether and go with a regular pizza.)

Any pizza crust will do too. I prefer my thin pizza crust recipe for this recipe, but have been known to use the prepackaged ones when I am being lazy or just don’t have time.

Margherita -pizza-squareI love using fresh mozzarella for this pizza. Shredded mozzarella is just fine too and is usually the one I have on hand. If I have fresh mozzarella cheese, summer tomatoes, and fresh basil hanging around I have already made some tomato bruschetta with it.

The one must for this recipe in my opinion is fresh basil. Yes I know, if you aren’t growing your own on the patio, it can be pricey (“spendy” as my friend, and unofficial editor, Bryan would say) but it really makes all the difference in this recipe.  Margherita pizza, Andy’s favorite pasta sauce, and minestrone soup are the main reasons I even have pots of herbs growing in the summer.

 

 

 

Margherita Pizza
Pizza Crust
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 clove Garlic, sliced thin
Pizza sauce, optional
1 - 2 large Tomatoes
12 - 20 fresh Basil Leaves, whole or cut into small pieces
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, or sliced fresh

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

While oven is preheating, mix olive oil and garlic and place in an oven proof small bowl and place in oven.

When garlic becomes aromatic, carefully remove bowl from oven and set aside.

Bake pizza crust until beginning to brown.

Remove from the oven.

Brush olive oil garlic mixture over pizza crust. Optional: add a small amount of pizza sauce.

Cover oil with thinly sliced tomatoes.

Cover tomatoes with mozzarella cheese.

Bake in pre-heated oven until cheese is melted and browned to your liking.

Remove from oven, cover with basil leaves, and serve hot.

http://peartreekitchen.com/margherita-pizza/

 

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