Pizza Margherita - Homemade Pizza on Gas Grill
Basil in Patio Garden
Pizza Margherita is beautiful both in flavor and color. The topping is made up of three basic ingredients:
- Roma tomatoes
- Mozzarella cheese
This meatless pizza is certainly easy on the family budget and makes a fully satisfying, rich-flavored meal. (See cost of four pizzas below.)
Roma Tomatoes, Garlic & Onion
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3-4 cups roma or plum tomatoes, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup green or white onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh basil, julienned
- 1 1/3 Cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Steps to Make Homemade Pizza Margherita
Making the pizza dough
Homemade pizza dough is easy to make
- Add 1 packet of active dry yeast to the warm water.
- Let the yeast dissolve for about 5 minutes.
- Add flour, salt, sugar and olive oil to water/yeast mixture.
- Mix the ingredients together in the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes; shape the dough into a ball.
- Grease the sides of a bowl and put dough ball in bowl, turn dough once to coat both sides with oil.
- Cover bowl with a towel or plastic and put in a warm place for about 60-90 minutes until it doubles in size.
- After rising, punch dough in center and remove dough from bowl.
- Slice dough into 4 even pieces and form 4 balls; let rest for about 5 minutes.
- Shape dough into pizza crusts by hand leaving a higher edge to form the crust.
Kneading the pizza dough, letting it rise and making crustsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Making the tomato "sauce"
Prepare the Pizza Toppings
Preparing the Pizza Margherita toppings while the homemade pizza dough is rising is ideal.
There is not an actual pizza sauce on Pizza Margherita like traditional pizzas. Chopped or thinly sliced Roma tomatoes are used instead.
- Chop the tomatoes and onions.
- Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt and olive oil in a bowl.
- Mix together and set aside until ready to use.
There's nothing better than fresh basil on pizza and since basil plants are inexpensive and extremely easy to grow there's no reason to not have fresh basil on-hand during the summer months.
- Snip fresh basil leaves from the plant (else purchase from store)
- Slice the basil into long, thin strips. Kitchen shears make this very easy to do!
- Set aside
Shred the mozzarella cheese and set aside. A little Parmesan cheese can be added as well if desired.
Assemble the Pizza
Before putting the pizza toppings on the dough a decision of whether to assemble the pizza inside and transfer it to the grill or assemble it directly on the grill has to be made. If the pizza is going to be transferred to the grill then it should be made on a wooden surface, such as a pizza peel, with some cornmeal on the surface of the peel so the pizza slides off easily.
Otherwise, the shaped pizza dough can be placed directly on the grill and the toppings quickly added. I find this method to be much easier.
Layer the ingredients:
- With a slatted spoon, put about 1/4 of the tomato mixture on each pizza "circle"
- Put the basil on top of the tomatoes
- Top with cheese (1/3 cup per pizza) and add a few more basil strips on top of the cheese
Assembling Pizza MargheritaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Have you ever grilled pizza?
Tips from the BBQ Guys on Grilling Pizza on a Gas Grill
Cook the Pizza on a Gas Grill
A hot gas grill can mimic a clay pizza oven, giving the pizza a slightly smokey flavor. The pizza can be grilled directly on the grates of the grill or on a pizza stone which has been placed inside the grill during pre-heating.
- If using a pizza stone, turn the center burner down low, leaving the two side burners on medium-high after pre-heating the grill.
- Either slide the already-assembled pizza onto the grill/stone or place the rolled pizza down onto the grill/stone and add toppings.
- Close the lid for about 3-4 minutes.
- Check the pizza and rotate for even grilling.
- Grill about 2-3 more minutes until crust is nicely browned and cheese is bubbly.
Grilling homemade pizza on the gas grillClick thumbnail to view full-size
Pizza Margherita Calzone
This pizza calzone is simply the pizza folded in half prior to grilling. Flip the calzone (turnover) after grilling the first side for about 2-3 minutes. It creates the perfect crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside texture with each flavorful bite.
Homemade pizza is easy on the family budget!
Oftentimes low-cost meals are thought of as low-taste. That absolutely is not the case, especially when it comes to Pizza Margherita!
The recipe makes four, 10-12 inch pizzas for a total cost of approximately $10.00, that's only $2.50 per pizza. What's more, the cost can be reduced by growing your own tomatoes and basil, or by buying in-season vegetables at a farmers market.
Cost of dough for 4 pizzas
Total Cost of Dough
Cost of pizza toppings for 4 pizzas
Total Cost of Toppings
Red, White and Green Pizza
How 'Pizza Margherita' Got Its Name
Pizza Margherita can be seen on restaurant menus worldwide (and now you can easily make it at home), but did you ever wonder where this garden fresh pizza got its name?
According to Wikipedia's History of Pizza,
In June 1889, to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan chef Raffaele Esposito created the "Pizza Margherita," a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag.
While this pizza has a name rich in history, its light and fresh flavors make it pleasing to modern-day tastes.