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Margherita Pizza

by Lori on July 4th, 2011

A slice of pizza, take seve
It’s the Fourth of July. Instead of making something red, white and blue, I’m making something red, white and green. It’s Margherita Pizza — with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil!

The Story

Italy has an Independence Day too. It happens every June, and it’s called Festa della Repubblica. This annual holiday dates back to 1946, following World War II when Italians voted to form a republic. Margherita Pizza dates back even further to 1889. According to Wikipedia, the pizza was created by Chef Raffaele Esposito for the Queen of Italy, who happened to be named Margherita. Chef Esposito used tomato, mozzarella and bail to represent the red, white and green colors of the Italian flag.

Margherita was a lucky gal to have such a fabulous pizza named after her. I wish I had a pizza named after me. Instead I have a horrible nickname given to me after a couple of mishaps while slicing tomatoes, which resulted in a couple of trips to the doctor to see if I needed stitches. My doctor now calls me the “steak knife lady.”

Fortunately, I still have all ten fingers ready for making Margherita Pizza. :)

The Moral of the Story

Take knife safety seriously to avoid unfortunate injuries — and nicknames.

About the Recipe

This recipe is adapted from Allrecipe’s Four Cheese Margherita Pizza. The four cheeses are fontina, feta, Parmesan and mozzarella. I never seem to have fontina and feta when I make it. I find it works just as well with only mozzarella and Parmesan. Therefore, I’m going to call this recipe Lori’s Two Cheese Margherita Pizza. Now I have a pizza named after me. :)

The Cast of Characters

Tomato and garlic are key members of the cast.
Garlic and tomatoes

However, fresh basil definitely steals the show.

My basil plant, take one

The Play-by-Play

Start chopping your garlic and slicing your tomatoes.
Chopping garlic, take two

Toss your garlic and tomatoes into a bowl with olive oil and salt.
Adding olive oil

While the tomatoes marinate, pick and wash your basil leaves.
Basil leaves in colander, take one

Roughly chop the basil.
Chopping basil, take two

Brush your pizza crust with some of the olive oil and garlic marinade.
Juicing the crust

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the crust.
Adding cheese, take one

Top with sliced tomatoes.
Adding tomatoes, take one

Add the chopped basil on top.
Adding basil, take two

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Adding parmesean cheese, take one

Bake for 10 minutes.
Pizza out of the oven, take four

Slice and serve.
A slice of pizza, take two

Recipe: Lori’s Two Cheese Margherita Pizza

Summary: A simple tomato and basil pizza with mozzarella and Parmesan


3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
4-5 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 cup olive oil
1 pre-made pizza crust
4 ounces of shredded mozzarella
5-6 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Follow the directions on Allrecipes for Four Cheese Margherita Pizza, except omit the fontina and feta cheeses.

The Footnotes

  • Take time to marinate. The longer you can marinate the tomatoes in the garlic and olive oil, the more pronounced the flavors will be.
  • Use fresh tomatoes and basil. Fresh tomatoes and basil work best. The freshness of the flavors will really come through.
  • Practice knife safety. When cutting your tomatoes, use a serrated knife. I learned this lesson the hard way. Every time I cut my fingers while slicing tomatoes, I was using a smooth-edge paring knife. A serrated knife works much better because it is less likely to slip while slicing.

Baking time (duration): 10 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: supper

My rating: 5 stars: ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

What’s your favorite kind of pizza?

  1. Your Pizza Margherita looks really good and your photos are lovely. Ahh I noticed you’re cheating though … pre-made crust … you aught to try making the crust, the pizza tastes so much better :)

    • You caught me. :) I did use a pre-made crust. A homemade crust would be much better. I haven’t had much luck making pizza crust in the past, but maybe it is time to give it another whirl.

  2. I should be known as “serrated knife lady” after a mishap that landed me with 12 stiches last December. My husband now holds his breath every time I slice a piece of bread.

    In any case- your pizza looks dreamy… and I think pre-made crust is sort of perfect for summer when I like to be in the kitchen as little as possible :)

    • A serrated knife and twelve stitches? Ouch! I was lucky as far as not needing stitches. The doctor was able to just use some tape to hold things together until it healed. Now I wish my husband held his breath every time I try to slice or chop food. He likes to give me knife safety lessons instead. :)

  3. It looks absolutely fresh and wonderful. Perfect summer meal!

    • Thanks so much! Your iced coffee is the perfect summer drink! I actually put some leftover coffee in an ice cube tray tonight to make some tomorrow.

  4. Love that you use huge chunks of tomatoes. Looks delicious!

    • Thanks so much! I highly recommend it if you can find some great, fresh tomatoes. I’m starting to see more of them at our weekly farmers’ market.

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