Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pizza Margherita

The Origin of Pizza Margherita (Courtesy of inmamaskitchen.com):

In about 1889, Queen Margherita, accompanied by her husband, Umberto I, took an inspection tour of her Italian Kingdom. During her travels around Italy she saw many people, especially the peasants, eating this large, flat bread. Curious, the queen ordered her guards to bring her one of these Pizza breads. The Queen loved the bread and would eat it every time she was out amongst the people, which caused some consternation in Court circles. It was not seemly for a Queen to dine on peasant's food.

Never the less, the queen loved the bread and decided to take matters into her own hands. Summoning Chef Rafaelle Esposito from his pizzeria to the royal palace, the queen ordered him to bake a selection of pizzas for her pleasure.

To honor the queen who was so beloved by her subjects, Rafaelle decided to make a very special pizza just for her. He baked a Pizza topped with tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese, and fresh Basil (to represent the colors of the Italian flag: Red, white, and green).

This became Queen Margherita's favorite pizza and when word got out that this was one of the queen's favorite foods, she became even more popular with the Italian people. She also started a culinary tradition, the Pizza Margherita, which lasts to this very day in Naples and has now spread throughout the world.


Olive Oil
Minced Garlic
Salt (preferably coarse)
RIPE Sliced Tomatoes
Mozzarella cheese, sliced
Fresh Basil Leaves
Pizza Crust


Pre-cook the Pizza Crusts according to the recipe. Meanwhile, place sliced tomatoes in a shallow dish and coat in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Allow to marinate at least 10 minutes.

To build the pizza: Brush some of the garlicky olive oil on the crust. Top with the sliced tomatoes, bits of cheese, and chopped basil. Drizzle with some of the remaining olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees until the cheese is melty and the crust is golden, about 10 minutes.