Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Flatbread Pizza Margherita

Legend has it that this famous Italian pie got its name from a chef who received kind comments from Queen Margherita after serving her a slice during a royal visit to Naples in the late 1800s. Fact or fiction, Pizza Margherita was born, and the deliciousness lies in its simplicity. One thing is for sure: The pie’s ingredients patriotically reflect the colors of the Italian flag: red tomato sauce, white mozzarella cheese, and green basil.

With so few ingredients, making each the best it can be is important. Besides fresh mozzarella and fresh basil, be sure to make the sauce from fresh tomatoes as well. It’s simple, quick, and easy. And so flavorful.

Pizza Margherita Main Ingredients
Note: I used a store-bought flatbread for the pizza, which is really good if you shop around for a top-quality “artisan” kind. But, of course, homemade pizza dough is the best, so if you have time, make your own. (For a fresh dough recipe, check out Pizza with Prosciutto, Red Onion, and Fresh Tomatoes.)

Serves 2-3

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 large roma tomatoes (about 12 oz total), chopped
  • sea salt
  • 1 8-X-11-inch flatbread
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (1 large or 2-3 smaller balls)
  • 10-12 basil leaves
Sliced Mozzarella
  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and season with salt. Cook until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens slightly, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Tomatoes Beginning to Cook
Cooked Tomato Sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper and lay the flatbread on it. Spread the tomato sauce on the bread, leaving about a 1-inch border. Scatter the cheese slices on top. Bake 10 minutes.
Tomato Base 
Cheese Added 
Pizza after 10 Minutes
  1. Remove from the oven and scatter the basil leaves on top. Bake an additional 1 minute.
Basil Added 
Baked Pizza Margherita
Remove the pizza to a cutting board and let rest 3 minutes. Cut into 4 large or 8 small pieces and serve.

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