Margherita Pizza

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 62,740
    Pizza expert Ruth Gresser demonstrates how to make a margherita pizza.

    Ruth Gresser

    Owner and chef Ruth Gresser grew up cooking with her mother, who owned a catering business in Baltimore, Md. Ms. Gresser cooked her way through Grinnell College in Iowa before moving to San Francisco, where she cooked for several years at Friends a Cafe and at Le Trou Robert. In 1987, she graduated summa cum laude from Madeleine Kamman's Classical and Modern French Cooking School in Glen, NH. She then moved to Washington, DC, where she has helped open four popular restaurants: Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont Circle, Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown, Blue Plate and Obelisk. Ms. Gresser has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs Madeleine Kamman Scholarship and a guest chef appearance at Alice Waters' renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. She has also been profiled in The Washington Post Magazine, The Washington Business Journal and by Georgetown University Television. Ms. Gresser has been a chef demonstrator, contributor and panelist for The Smithsonian Institution and for FreshFarm Markets in Washington, DC. She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

    Hi, I am Ruth Gresser from Pizzeria Paradiso, and we're making pizza today. Right now I am going to make a Margherita pizza. So, a Margherita pizza is a very simple pizza. It's composed of three elements; tomato, basil and Mozzarella cheese. You will notice it's the colors of the Italian flag, and it was named for Queen Margherita. It was developed in the late 1800s, so it's sort of a classic pizza. So, the first thing that you want to do is you want to put your tomato onto your pizza dough. So, just spoon some tomato on. The one thing that I want to caution you about in making pizza is don't top it heavily. The important part of the pizza being the crust, you don't want to smother the flavor of the crust by piling it high with too many toppings. So, I have spread the tomato around the pizza, as you can see I have left a nice thick edge around the outside of the pizza, and that's going to rise nicely, and that's called the corona of the pizza. So, we're just going to put some basil on to the pizza, some whole basil leaves. For the very large pieces, you can break them in half. Then we are going to top our pizza with some diced Mozzarella cheese, and that's it. You are going to put a little bit of salt, scatter a little salt on top, a little bit of oil, and you can put a little bit of black pepper, and there you have it. Next, we are going to make a vegetable pizza.