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Growing Basil for Homemade Pizza Margherita

June 9, 2009

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Fresh Basil!
Basil plant from seed, in the garden

After spotting a basil plant at Trader Joes – for the lovable price of $2.99 – homemade pizza was definitely in order. We already planted basil (from seed) in our container garden, but it has a few more months until it’s usable. My favorite recipe that uses a lot of basil is the classic Pizza Margherita. While you could just buy a pizza crust if you’re short on time, I love making pizza dough homemade. The smell of fresh baked dough is almost worth it alone.

Here’s a simple pizza crust recipe from Martha Stewart: Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough recipe (Note: It does require an hour to rise).  After I make the dough, I freeze half of the recipe to use for pizza or stromboli (broccoli mozzarella is my current favorite) on another day. Then, roll out the other 1/2 into 2-4 mini pizzas.

Tomato Mozzarella Basil Pizza Recipe

Homemade basil tomato mozzarella pizza

Makes 4


Whole-wheat pizza dough (above)
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
8 oz  mozzarella cheese
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup tomato sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place pizza shells on baking sheet. Spread tomato sauce thinly over each shell; sprinkle with cheese, layer torn basil leaves over cheese, and then layer tomato slices over the basil.
  2. Bake until crusts are golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

What’s your favorite way to use fresh basil?

  • Susan
    June 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    We are growing basil too! We always make pizza but I have never made my own dough, I will have to try out that recipe.

    My other favorite is making pesto, but it’s hard to grow enough basil when you live in a tiny apartment.