Like a lot of people, I have been making homemade pizzas since I was a kid. Who doesn’t have fun putting together the perfect customized pie? But it was just a few years ago when I realized the power that homegrown basil brings to a pizza. I love a good Neopolitan pizza, but I also love throwing basil on every pizza I make. It levels up all the pizzas that it graces itself upon. Now, thanks to my AeroGarden, I have an abundance of indoor herbs over here & I can’t think of a better way to show off my garden bounty than a homemade & homegrown pizza. It’s a really quick & easy dinner because I used a premade pizza dough & pizza sauce. One day, I’ll perfect the garlic & herb pizza dough recipe, but today is not that day. Let’s keep it moving, here’s my recipe for pepperoni, mushroom & basil pizza.
- Pizza dough
- Pizza sauce
- 1 T melted butter
- ¾ t garlic powder
- Cheese (I used Mozzarella, Provolone & fresh Parmesan)
- Basil (I used Genovese & Thai) cut into strips
- 4 large mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix together melted butter & garlic powder in a bowl.
- Stretch out pizza dough until it reaches your desired size. Place on a pizza pan or a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper.
- Using a spoon, spread garlic butter on the crust of the pizza.
- Spread pizza sauce onto the pizza dough.
- Top with half of the amount of cheese & toppings. Layer the second half of cheese & toppings on top of the first half.
- Bake for 18 minutes, turning the pizza at the halfway mark. Pizza is done when the crust is golden brown & the cheese is slightly browned & melted.
- Put as much or as little of cheese & toppings as you please, which is why I didn’t include a lot of measurements in this recipe. Go maximum or go minimum. I prefer a little sauce & a lot of cheese & toppings.
- Wait to add a sprinkle of basil until the final 2 minutes of cooking if you want it to stay green after cooking.
- Try using a cast iron skillet if you are looking for a crispy on the outside & soft on the inside pizza crust. Check out my cast iron pizza recipe.
I have such fond memories making pizza from when I was a little kid. I loved being able to make it just right, with a ton of pepperoni & as little of a crust as I could get by pushing that cheese to the edge. As you can see, I still make it the same way, heavy on the pepperoni & light on the crust. I love the toasty cheese goodness that is created when the cheese hangs over the crust & touches the pizza pan. I went through a phase in college where I didn’t want any sauce on pizza at all. Now I make my own tomato sauce using tomatoes, garlic & herbs that I’ve grown myself, go figure. I only have one batch of homegrown & homemade tomato sauce left in the freezer from last year & it is earmarked for homemade pasta, so I didn’t use it in this recipe.
Once as a kid, my grandma & I were making 4 pizzas for the family & we ran out of the normal toppings on our 4th pizza. We improvised by making a ham & cheese pizza with American cheese & deli ham. Our family never let us hear the end of it (& they still razz me about it to this day), but my grandma & I liked it anyway. I like to think of us as pizza innovators, especially with all of the crazy pizza creations that are being sold today. To be honest, the razzing has always gotten to me a bit, it always stings a little when you put a lot of work into something only to have people make fun of you, even if it’s supposed to be a good-hearted ribbing. But what can you do? Some people just can’t recognize pizza greatness. This pizza recipe is for you, grandma. I’ll always keep trying out new ways to make a pizza better & I’ll never let anyone put me in a pizza corner. You shouldn’t either, basil up that pizza of yours!