Thursday, February 15, 2007

Margherita Pizza

I made this pizza tonight and based it off the Margherita Pizza recipe from the All New Joy of Cooking. I have not yet learned how to make homemade pizza dough, so we bought store-brand premade pizza crusts and used those instead. This was pretty easy and was great! I used store-brand pizza sauce, four diced Roma tomatoes, about 1/3 cup basil, some grated Parmesan, and shredded mozzarella, then baked it at 450 degrees for about 11 minutes. It was a good, quick, tasty meal.

I borrowed a book on cooking a few months ago from the library, and the most useful tip I got from it was how to freeze basil. I tried growing basil in a little flowerpot this summer and fall, but it didn't work out too well (note to self: frost kills basil pretty quickly, bring the plant in sooner next year). My local grocery store sells basil in these big clamshell containers, but they cost $3-4 dollars and a lot of it would go bad before I could use it. Then I learned that you could freeze basil, and, well, basically my life changed forever. All you do is rinse it, pick the leaves off the stems, and dry the leaves. Then you take a long sheet of wax paper, lay the leaves on it in a single layer, roll up the wax paper, stick it in a freezer bag, throw it in your freezer, and voila! You have basil whenever you want. It won't look fresh in your dishes, but the taste is preserved. So I used some of my frozen basil on our pizza and saved myself $3-4 and a trip to the store.

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