Monday, January 24, 2011

meatless monday: margherita pizza!

I can give up meat, for the most part, but I can never, EVER, give up pizza.
{Don't even ask.}

Lately, I have discovered the joy of making my own pizza.  I like the crust to be thick.  I like the cheese to be plentiful.  I like the toppings to be fresh.

One of my favorite pizzas is margherita pizza.  This is my go-to when I am out and have to order something that does not involve meat.  So many restaurants have amazing flatbread versions that are so amazingly delish!

Last night I made my own, simple, thick crust version, using these four ingredients:

can of pizza dough
basil pesto
mozzarella cheese
thinly sliced tomato

I simply rolled out the dough on a pizza stone (seasoned with cornmeal), spread on a layer of basil, sprinkle as much mozzarella as desired, and add my slices of tomato.  Season with salt and pepper...

 Bake for 12-15 minutes at 425F.

Slice and indulge...while watching The Bachelor!  
  {Won't give that one up either.}


PS: Do you have a good homemade pizza recipe?  I'd love to hear!


  1. That looks delicious!!! I love margherita pizza.

  2. Yummy!!! That does look delish!!! We (by we I mean Jeremy, of course) usually use the Trader Joe's dough. It is so delicious.

    Yum. Now I want pizza tonight!

  3. Mmmm pizza is definitely one of our household staples too! If we go the homemade route, we usually make calzones though. We loooove this recipe from food blogger Rachel Rappaport, fellow Baltimorean.

    Here's my modified version:

    Garlic and black pepper pizza/calzone dough

    Makes 2 pizzas/4 calzones

    • 1 cup warm water
    • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    • ¼ oz (1 packet) rapid rise dry yeast
    • 2 ¾ cups flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp freshly coarse ground black pepper
    • 3 T olive oil

    1. Soak garlic in olive oil for 10 min. Meanwhile, pour warm water into a small bowl. Add sugar, and sprinkle in yeast. Stir the mixture until the yeast is dissolved. Let yeast stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Microwave the oil (with the garlic) for 15 seconds after soaking. Discard the garlic or use it in your sauce.
    2. Place flour the bowl of a stand mixer. Add salt, olive oil, black pepper and yeast/water mixture. Using the dough hook, mix until the dough becomes a fairly smooth ball. Remove from mixer bowl and fold the dough onto itself a couple of times.
    3. Coat the inside of a medium bowl with olive oil and place dough in the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 20 minutes (40 min. if not using rapid rise yeast). Meanwhile, preheat oven to desired temperature (350° or higher).
    • Make sure yeast is not expired – will not rise!
    • I set bowl on stovetop while oven is preheating to keep it warm.
    4. Remove plastic wrap and use your fist to push down on the center of the dough. Fold dough in half four or five times. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the warm spot to rise again. Wait until the dough has doubled in size, about 15 minutes (30 min. if not using rapid rise yeast).
    • Usually we are starving and impatient (or the yeast didn’t activate) so we’ve proceeded without letting the dough rise much and it has still turned out fine! Not as “fluffy” though.
    5. Punch down the dough and transfer to a clean surface. Fold dough over onto itself four or five times. Divide in half or into quarters depending on how large you want your pizza(s) or calzones and roll into a ball. Flour the surface and pat or use rolling pin to flatten dough into a circle of desired diameter.
    6. For pizza, leave a ½ inch border of unflattened dough around the edges of the circle. Cover with sauce and tasty toppings and carefully transfer to pizza stone or pan (sprinkled with cornmeal, if desired) and bake!
    7. For calzones, add ricotta and other pizza-type toppings to center of dough circle. Don’t spread all the way to edges and don’t add any/much sauce or it will bubble out. Fold dough in half so you’re left with a semi-circle filled with your toppings. Use a fork to crimp and seal edges of the calzone. Piece top in several places to allow steam to escape. Bake at 350° for about 15 min. We like to dunk in marinara/pizza sauce once it’s ready.
    8. ENJOY! The garlic and black pepper give a delicious flavor! Add more/less garlic and pepper to suit your taste.
    9. Wrap extra dough in plastic wrap and store in fridge. It will continue to rise, so make sure it doesn’t expand out of the wrap or it will dry out.

    You can find the original, delicious recipe here:

    She has sooo many tantalizing recipes - I only wish I had more time to attempt them!


  4. I love it! Thanks for linking up, but now I'm hungry. :)

  5. Greta, your pizza looks wonderful. Have you found a brand of cheese you like best for pizza?

  6. I lurrrrve pizzas. I like them SMOTHERED with mozarella. I could pretty much just eat the mozarella on its own!!


  7. check out my blog its called pampered not perfect mother of 2 i have 2 pizza recipes on there that r no meat you would love them Im a sr. pampered chef consaultant and the stones for pizza is amazing so please check it out and follow me I have many more to come!


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