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Pizza Margherita Pizza Margherita
The stinking rose
A little bulb with a big history, garlic has its domestic roots in central Asia where it originated more than 6,000 years ago. En route to becoming a common worldwide culinary ingredient, garlic has been worshipped, protected us from evil, and even been used as currency. Once banished by lovers of fine food here in the United States, garlic was finally embraced in the 1930s as both a spice and a main ingredient. Today there are more than 300 different varieties of garlic, but the American version, with its strong flavor and papery, white skin is the most prevalent. Whichever variety you choose, fresh garlic—a little or a lot—is a healthy way to put that extra zing in almost anything.

Pizza Margherita
with fresh tomato, mozzarella, basil, and garlic

Ingredients (yields two 8-inch pizzas)
1 package (1/4 ounce) rapid-rise yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm water (105115)
4 tablespoons DHC Núñez de Prado Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
4 cloves garlic or to taste, finely chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 medium tomatoes, seeded, then diced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly* and torn into pieces
4 large fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

1. Mix yeast and sugar into water; let stand 5 minutes; stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

2. In a food processor or bowl, mix flour and salt.

3. With machine running or with fingertips if making by hand, combine yeast mixture with flour and salt mixture until a soft dough forms. If dough is too dry, add more water a little at a time; if too sticky, add more flour a little at a time.

4. On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough about 2 minutes; divide into two balls. Cover dough with a tea towel. Let rest for 10 minutes; punch down into two flat disks.

5. Beginning in the center, press balls of dough into 8-inch rounds with raised edges. Brush a large baking sheet with olive oil and place the two rounds of dough on the baking sheet.

6. Brush each round with 1 tablespoon olive oil; evenly sprinkle half of the garlic and half of the Parmesan cheese over each round.

7. Evenly scatter half of the tomatoes and half of the mozzarella over each pie. Lightly drizzle additional olive oil over the cheese.

Pizza Margherita

8. Bake at 450º until crust and cheese are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

9. Scatter with basil; let rest 5 minutes, then cut into eight wedges.

Tips
1. This fresh, simple pizza is delicious without any additions, but of course you can add extra toppings. Try bell peppers, onion, fresh herbs, mushrooms, zucchini, olives, classic pepperoni, or any other meat of your choice.

2. Short on time? Just use a purchased, prebaked bread shell or crust.

3. Including the seeded area of a tomato can cause a dish to become watery. To remove, simply halve the tomato and scoop away seeds. To make this pizza when tomatoes aren't in their prime, use well-drained, diced canned tomatoes.

 

*To make the mozzarella easier to slice, put in freezer for about 5 minutes.

Pizza Margherita