By Lisa Petrillo

SOUTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Mi’talia Kitchen and Bar in South Miami is the newest outpost by executive chef partners and life partners, Jeff McGinnis & Janine Booth.

The married couple teamed up with Grove Bay Hospitality Group to open the charming Italian eatery.

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The restaurant is filled with light and natural accents everywhere. For Janine, it all begins with sunflowers and a menu she calls sun cuisine.

“Sunflowers are my favorite flower, so you’ll kind of see little bits of sunflowers everywhere,” she said.

Mi’talia Sunflower Pizza (CBS4)

Back in the kitchen, Jeff prepares Mi’talia’s Sunflower Pizza with CBS’s Lisa Petrillo.

It is today’s Digital Bite.

Sunflower Pizza

For the dough

(Makes 8 each 9 oz balls of pizza pie)

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  • 4 C. Water
  • ¾ teasp Instant Yeast
  • 3.5 pounds Flour, High Gluten King Arthur
  • 3 Tblsp Salt, Kosher
  • 2 Tblsp + 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Place water in the mixer bowl melt the yeast into the water mixing on low until smooth and dissolved about 1 or 2 minutes

  • Add 70% of the flour at slow speed
  • After 3 minutes add the salt
  • After 3 minutes add the rest of the flour
  • Slowly add the olive oil and mix dough until nice and smooth (5 min total)
  • Rest dough in mixer for 30-40 minutes
  • Dump dough out on to table
  • Portion to 9 oz dough balls and place in lightly oiled dough boxes lightly covered to proof
  • Let rest & proof for 3 hours at room temp
  • Refrigerator at 40f overnight approximately 18 hours
  • Dough should be cold – can be used at room temp but within 2 hours
  • OR buy your favorite pizza dough

For the Mint & Basil Pesto  

(Makes 2 C enough for 8 pizza pies)

  • ¼ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ Tblsp Garlic
  • ¼ C Toasted Salted Shelled Pistachios
  • 1/3 C Mint, Chopped
  • 1/3 C Basil, Chopped
  • 3 Tblsp Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 2 Tblsp Lemon Juice
  • ½ tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Salt

In a Robot Coupe (another word for food processor), mix all ingredients except the olive oil and pulse until chunky and combined. continue to pulse and drizzle in olive oil and garlic oil. taste for seasoning.

Pizza Time!!! (For 1 pie)

  • 9 or 10 oz. pizza Dough Ball @ Room Temp & Proofed
  • 2 oz mint & Basil Pesto
  • 2.5 oz mozzarella Shredded
  • 9 or 10 baby zucchini sliced rings
  • 9 or 10 baby yellow squash sliced rings
  • 5 ea yellow cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 ea yellow banana pickled pepper sliced thin in rings
  • 2 teasp toasted sunflowers
  • 8 Tblsp Ricotta
  • ½ teasp Lemon Zest

Pre-heat oven to 550 degrees with a low fan.  Insure a pizza stone or clean flat sheet pan is appropriately placed in the oven for sliding your pie on.


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  1. Dust hands and board with small amount of flour – using lightly dusted putty knife cut dough to insure release from neighboring dough and box – scoop under dough and gently pick up from box
  2. Place dough topside down into shallow metal bowl with flour and flip to coat other side gently  keeping the doughs round shape.
  3. Work all ten fingers from bottom side dough all the way up trying to maintain edge
  4. Flip dough over and repeat – see video a1
  5. Dust off all flour to begin slapping
  6. Use right hand to hold the pizza down and using left hand flick the under side back and fourth over right side, rotating slightly with each movement
  7. Once the dough is approximately 11” round. Using a knife or pizza wheel cut 2” slices in 8 even spots around the outer edge


  • Place dough on clean wood paddle with a tiny bit of flour – just enough so it won’t stick – too much flour will make pizza bitter
  • Gently and evenly top pizza with pesto, and first 6 ingredients listed above
  • Using your fingers pinch the cut dough ends together into triangles forming an 8 petal flower
  • Make sure pizza has movement and is not stuck to the pizza board. Slide the pie into the oven on pizza stone or the e bottom of a pre-heated sheet pan
  • Place in oven – after 2 minutes turn 180 degrees and cook another 2 minutes until pizza is bubbly and lightly golden brown
  • Remove from oven and cut into 8.
  • Using a piping bag top with 1 tblsp of ricotta into each corner peak of the pie dough & top with lemon zest & sunflower seeds
  • Serve hot!
  • ENJOY!

Lisa Petrillo