I read in Giada de Laurentiis’s cookbook, Everyday Italian, that the Margherita pizza is named after a Queen Margherita who requested several pies be made for her. The version topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil was her favorite, and thus bears her name. Note that the three colors of the Italian flag (red, white, and green, otherwise known as ‘tricolore’) are represented.
Armed with ingredients from the southside Italian Centre, including two 10 inch focaccia rounds, asiago and provolone cheeses (in place of mozzarella, so not a true Margherita pizza) and roma tomatoes, we added some olive oil, salt and pepper to the bread base, assembled our pizzas, and put them into the oven for about 15 minutes to melt the cheeses. Once out of the oven, we topped them with fresh basil.
The final product was fairly satisfying, though on a do-over I’d likely slice the bread horizontally in half as the focaccia turned out to be a tad thick. More tomatoes would have been nice as well. The asiago was an inspired choice though, functioning like parmesan with its sharp, creamy taste and ability to keep the softer provolone from becoming rubbery. Next time, with from-scratch dough, and utilizing the pizza stone Mack has access to, I hope to be able to duplicate the fantastic pizza from Vancouver’s Bridges.