Lemon Basil Cheesy Pizza

Lemon Basil Cheesy Pizza

Adding lemon to pizza just makes an old favorite even better – and more nutritious – than before. The tang of lemon slices deliciously contrasts creamy smoked mozzarella, with the bite of feta cheese and crunchy pine nuts to add to the gourmet effect. This recipe makes two portions of pizza dough; for just one, cut the toppings in half and then you can freeze the leftover dough for up to a month.
Course Main Dish


Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  • 2 lemons thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds smoked fresh mozzarella thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling


Pizza Dough

  • Make the dough first, ideally a day ahead.
  • Add the water to a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Whisk until blended.
  • Let it stand for about 5 minutes. It should be foamy.
  • Now, add the flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt. Stir until it forms a dough.
  • Flour a flat surface and scrape all the dough from a bowl onto the surface.
  • Knead until the dough is smooth. It should take about 5 minutes.
  • Form the dough into a ball. Grease the inside of a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with plastic warp and let it sit undisturbed in a warm place (at least room temperature) for about 1 hour.
  • Uncover the dough and cut it into two equal halves. Form them into balls.
  • Repeat the process: grease two bowls, and set each dough ball into one of them. Cover with plastic wrap and let them stand in a warm place for about 5 hours. They should be approximately double in size.
  • When you are ready to use the dough, punch it down into the bowl.


  • Preheat the oven to 500°F with the rack in the middle position.
  • About 15 minutes before you are ready to start, place the lemon slices in a bowl of water to soak. Just before you begin, drain out the water and place the slices on a paper towel to dry.
  • Taking each ball of dough at a time, dust the dough with flour and then roll out into a circle on a floured surface.
  • Place the dough onto the baking sheet and stretch it out to the edges.
  • Arrange the mozzarella slices on top.
  • Next, arrange the lemon slices on top, and then the basil leaves around them.
  • Drizzle everything with olive oil.
  • Bake in the oven for about 5 or 6 minutes, until the dough is puffy.
  • Slide the pizza briefly from the oven and add the feta cheese crumbles.
  • Turn on the broiler and leave it under the heat 30 to 60 seconds, or until the edges of the crust begin to brown.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with pine nuts.


The dough can be made and then refrigerated for up to three days, or frozen for up to one month. Unthaw the dough and return to room temperature when you are ready to use.
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