A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Easy Margherita Pizza

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Easy Margherita Pizza

Pizza is such a great weeknight dinner-- it is easy to make, can be a complete meal in itself, and it makes my husband really happy to come home from work on Pizza Night.  I love doing a margherita pizza because it's such a simple and delicious combination of flavors.  However, if you've ever made one homemade you know it can be a bit challenging.  Because there is so much moisture in both fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, you can often end up with pools of liquid and mushy crust upon baking.  I have learned this the hard way a few times!

So, here is how you avoid this problem: You need to draw the moisture out of the tomatoes before making your pizza.  It's pretty simple, but will add about 15 minutes to your prep time.  Once you have done it though, your tomatoes will be more flavorful and there will be considerably less liquid on top of your pizza once it is baked.

I served this pizza along with a simple green salad-- one of our favorite weeknight dinners.  Enjoy!

  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 Tbs. cornmeal
  • 1 pre-baked pizza crust *I used the multigrain kind they sell in my grocery store bakery section
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Layer two paper towels on a flat surface and arrange sliced tomatoes on top.  Sprinkle each tomato slice with salt and cover with an additional paper towel.  Allow the tomatoes to sit for 15-20 minutes.  You should start to see the paper towel fill with moisture and if the top towel becomes too saturated, discard and replace with another sheet as often as needed.

Meanwhile, sprinkle cornmeal on a large baking sheet and place pizza crust on top.  Brush the top of the crust lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange sliced tomatoes evenly on top of the crust, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the edges (you may not use all the tomatoes).  Follow by arranging cheese slices on top of the tomato layer.  I like to arrange the cheese so it overlaps between tomato slices instead of placing each slice directly on top of a tomato slice.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until mozzarella is melted and begins to brown and bubble.  Remove from oven and sprinkle basil evenly over the top.  Allow the pizza to cool for another 4-5 minutes, slice,and serve.

This would also be great with a little balsamic reduction drizzled over the top as well.

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