baking · cooking · Dinner

Simplicity: Individual Margherita Pizzas

My inspiration for this dinner came from a magazine that simply called to me, as I waited to check out:


Better Homes & Gardens puts out a line of special publications, that are more book-like in a magazine format. Everyone I have found has been worth the cost, especially when I get them heavily discounted at Costco I might add…anyhow, this one was Better Homes and Gardens Good & Fresh Magazine Summer 2013, which features plenty of vegetarian and even vegan-friendly recipes. It was hard to resist the lure of the cover photo!

This year I planted 4 tomato plants, 3 of which are small cherry sized fruits. They are flowering, which leaves me oh-so-happy, dreaming of my (hopefully) bumper crops to come. I love fresh tomatoes, especially on a crisp, cracker-like crust. Where the tomatoes are just warm enough to release their juices but barely cooked.


Individual Margherita Pizzas


  • 1 batch pizza dough (see below)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, quartered and thinly sliced (if in water, drain and pat dry)
  • 1 tub cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Ground black pepper
  • Additional olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 400°. Add oil to a small bowl, brush liberally over two baking sheets. Divide dough into halves (4 pieces total). Roll each piece out to about a 9×6″ rectangle on a lightly floured surface, transfer 2 to each sheet  Lightly pinch the edges to make a crust. Brush dough with remaining olive oil and liberally prick dough with fork tines. Bake 1 sheet at a time, for about 20 minutes, until golden.

Cover each crust with the cheese, smooshing it as needed to fill it. Sprinkle tomatoes across, crack some black pepper and a drizzle of additional olive oil across the top. Bake for about 7 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Take out, sprinkle basil on top and cut up.

Makes 4 pizzas, serving about 6 people.


I used half the dough and cheese to make 2 of these pizzas, then made the guys two other pizzas that featured the cheese, mushrooms, onions and bell pepper, that were lightly salted and sautéed until golden. Kirk just doesn’t like raw tomatoes, which I love.


Pizza Dough


  • 2½-3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup warm water (120-130°)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


Combine 1¼ cups of the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add water and oil, whisk until smooth, then beat for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour with a wooden spoon.

Lightly flour a work surface, knock dough out and knead for 8 minutes, until dough is elastic and smooth, adding additional flour as needed.

Divide dough in half, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Follow recipe above.


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