What do you get when you cross classic grilled cheese with Pizza Margherita? This delicious vegetarian meal idea! Each slice provides a source of whole grains, fibre and protein, and takes less than 10 minutes to make - but no doubt will be gobbled up quicker!
Pizza Margherita is a typical Naples-style pizza made with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and olive oil. While simple – considering the array of toppings you could use to decorate a base with – it’s true pizza perfection. Just ask your tastebuds!
These grilled pizza toasts are what happens when the classic melted cheese on toast marries pizza Margherita – a slightly fancier ‘adult’ grilled cheese with a legendary flavour combination.
Wholegrain sourdough toast. This naturally leavened bread forms your ‘pizza’ base. Pizza sauce has a high water content, so to help deter from soggy bread (boo!), semi-toast your slice before loading it with toppings. This will make it nice and crunchy too👌. Note: you could sub sourdough for whatever toast tickles your fancy.
Olive oil. Brush this over the toast before spreading with pizza sauce. It builds on the yummy Mediterranean flavours and, once again, helps stop the bread from getting soggy.
Pizza sauce. I use a generic one from the supermarket. You could make your own by mixing tomato paste, crushed garlic, oregano and salt!
Mozzarella cheese. This is a soft cheese first made in Italy, usually prepared from buffalo or cow’s milk. Make sure to thinly slice – this will encourage a nice balance of flavour, and some excellent melting in the short time that your toast is under the grill!
Fresh basil. It wouldn’t be Margherita Pizza without fresh fragrant basil! Add as little or as much as you want – it’ll brighten the dish and packs a great flavour punch.
Wholegrain sourdough bread is a good source of energy, fibre and b-vitamins. It’s lower phytate levels (an anti-nutrient often present in grains!) can make it easier to digest, for some.
Mozzarella cheese generally has a similar protein to fat ratio, whereas many soft cheese tend to favour more fat – so, basically you get more protein bang-for-buck here! It’s also a rich source of calcium to support healthy, strong bones.
Olive oil is a concentrated source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
Serve immediately once out of the oven – if it’s kept waiting too long for mouth-to-stomach action, the bread goes a bit soggy and the cheese rubbery.
If having for lunch or dinner, I recommend adding veggie sticks or a simple salad on the side. This will encourage more of a balanced meal, with a wider intake of nutrients from the different food groups.
Preheat the oven to grill 220 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Put the sourdough slices onto toast, stopping the cycle when it's about 80% done – the rest of the toasting will happen under the grill!
Using a pastry or basting brush, lightly brush oil over the top of each slice of toast.
Spoon and spread overtop of the toast the the pizza sauce. Top with the mozzarella cheese slices.
Place toast under the grill for five minutes or until the cheese has melted to your preference. Keep a close eye on the edges of your toast – as it's already part-toasted, it can quickly burn if left for too long!
Remove and add a few turns of the salt and pepper grinder and torn basil leaves.