Grilled Pizza Margherita
The classic pizza Margherita may be my all time fave, and I am not alone. It is so simply elegant, just dough, tomato sauce, cheese, and fresh green basil. Legend has it that it was first made by a local baker named Esposito in 1889 to commemorate the visit of Italy's Queen Margherita to Naples. He decorated it with the red, green, and white colors of the Italian flag. This one depends heavily on fresh basil and it just cannot be made properly with dried basil, so don't try. Note: The pizza in the picture above was made at a restaurant. I keep forgetting to take pix of mine befoer I eat it. Before you start, I recommend you read my article The Zen of Grilled Pizza (Pizza alla Griglia).
Makes. 1 (14") pizza
Preparation time. 30 minutes (not counting the time to make the dough)
Cooking time. 20 minutes
16 ounces pizza dough
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed or crushed
3 meaty tomatoes like Romas, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
10 fresh basil leaves, stems cut off close to the leaf
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
2 pinches Morton's kosher salt
several grinds fresh ground black pepper
About the cheese. This pie is measurably better if you get fresh mozz, the kind sold at deli counters in water.
Optional. You can use tomato sauce if you can't find really fresh tomatoes.
1) Make the dough one day in advance.
2) Preheat the grill to high. Shoot for 450 to 500°F.
3) Coat the pan with oil. Spread the dough in the pan with your hands, and don't worry if it is not perfectly round. Paint the top of the dough with the oil, and sprinkle with the garlic, concentrating it in the center so you get it in the first bite and the flavors linger as you work to the edges. Lay the tomatoes on the oil, then the fresh whole basil leaves, then the cheese, then the salt and pepper.
4) Bake until the bottom is dark golden and the cheese is runny and bubbling, cut, and serve.
Here are some good videos of pizza making
This page was revised 1/17/2011
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