Hi all! It’s Mary from a little blog called What’s Cookin’ with Mary. I have been reading Danica’s blog for almost a year now and just love her. When she asked if I wanted to do a guest post while she was off having a blast in the Bahamas with Jay (Happy Birthday!!!), I jumped at the chance. So, today I want to talk to you about pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza ?! You know what I love more than pizza… Five ingredient recipes. After a long day, the last thing you want to do is try and locate a huge list of ingredients to make a complicated recipe for dinner. If that sounds like you, this recipe is right up your alley. Without further a due, may I present Pizza Margherita!
Caprese salad is one of my very favorites. I love how the sweet summer tomatoes pair with the light, salty fresh mozzarella and the bright, pungent basil. Did you know that basil was originally from India (according to the wiki)?I didn’t either! That’s probably because it’s best known for being in Italian cooking. It’s a close relative to the mint plant, but had a more anise flavor (liquoricey– yep, it’s a word – I just made it up!). Can you tell I love basil? I digress. When you take those same ingredients you use to make a caprese salad and put it on a pizza, it transforms magically while in the oven into Pizza Margherita. Pretty fancy, right? Thought so. The best part about this pizza is that all you need is five simple ingredients. If you want to make your own pizza dough, feel free to, but I like to buy the premade dough from Trader Joe’s here to save time (to save even more time, you could buy a totally premade crust such as Boboli). Also, if your store doesn’t carry garlic oil, you can make your own in a snap. Just heat a quarter of a cup of olive oil to a pan over medium low heat and add two smashed cloves of garlic and cook for eight to ten minutes or until the garlic has browned a bit infusing it’s flavor into the oil. Remove the garlic cloves and allow oil to cool slightly and viola, garlic oil. If you’re feeling really, super fancy, you can make your pizza on the grill, but today I’m going to be using a pizza stone in the oven. If you don’t have a pizza stone, a baking sheet will work just fine. Enjoy with a generous squirt of sriracha and red pepper flakes.
What You Need:
- 1 – 16 oz ball of pizza dough (I used whole wheat)
- 8 oz fresh ovoline mozzarella packed in water, drained, dried & sliced into ¼” pieces
- 1 ½ large tomatoes, sliced into ¼“pieces & pressed between paper towels
- 2 – 3 Tbs basil chiffonade (thinly sliced – to taste)
- 2 Tbs garlic oil
- Salt and pepper (optional – to taste)
- cornmeal for pizza stone (if using)
- flour for dusting
What To Do:
Heat your pizza stone in a 425* oven for 15 – 20 minutes. This ensures that the crust will be nice and crisp on the outside, but doughy on the inside. For best result, take your dough ball out of the fridge while the pizza stone heats (about 20 minutes). Once your dough has come to temperature, roll it out on a well floured surface to about a 12” round.
Remove the hot pizza stone from the oven and sprinkle with cornmeal to prevent sticking.
Gently transfer your dough onto it and pierce with a fork all over to prevent bubbles while it bakes.
Bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until barely browned. Keep your eye on it as you don’t want it to overcook (you’ll be baking it again with toppings).
After the crust has prebaked, remove from the oven, brush with garlic oil and top with tomato and cheese slices. Season with salt and pepper if using. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and the crust is nicely browned.
Remove pizza from oven and top with fresh basil chiffonade.
Serve with red pepper flakes and hot sauce.
Makes 8 slices, 6 points+ each
**Cook’s Note: on the tomatoes: make sure you really get as much liquid as you can out of the tomatoes. If not, the liquid in them will make your pizza soggy. On the basil: if you don’t want to chiffonade, you could simply chop it up to whatever size you desire**
Thanks Mary!!! You are definitely a girl after my own heart….tomatoes, cheese, Sriracha and crushed red pepper flakes all in one….LOVE!