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When to add basil to my pizza?

mcsmithnyc Dec 13, 2010 08:49 AM

I've made homemade pizza before but have always used dry ingredients. I'm cooking tonight and would like to use fresh basil and possibly fresh oregano (isn't it supposed to be better dried?) The question is when do I add this - before it goes into the oven (the recipe is cooking it about 14mins. at 500 degrees) - or after...or do I take it out with like a minute to go and add it and then continue to cook for an additional minute?

Also this won't have a sauce - it will be moz. + parm. cheese, dried oregana, roma tomatoes, and basil on top.

A somewhat related question - I'm not sure if my supermarket will have roma tomatoes - if not can I just use regular ones - anything different to do preparation wise?


  1. e
    ediblover Dec 13, 2010 09:42 AM

    Putting the basil in the oven for that long will make it very unappetizing (dry, shrunken, discolored). So, save it until it's done. The only way I'd put it in before that is if the leaves are less than ideal and not suitable for presentation (Well, that and an extremely hot oven).

    Since you're making a white pizza consider adding garlic and topping the finished product with some olive oil (That it will add luster to the basil leaves is a plus).

    If the market doesn't have roma, I'd go smaller and buy cherries. The larger you use the greater the concern of the water making the crust all soggy/yucky. If you can only find large ones, be sure to pat them down.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ediblover
      lynnlato Dec 13, 2010 11:59 AM

      Agreed. What I do with white pizza is saute some minced garlic in olive oil. I then brush it on the pizza dough, add tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella slices, roma tomato slices, salt and pepper. Bake and then sprinkled with chopped/torn basil leaves, freshly grated parm or romano cheese and sprinkle with red chili pepper flakes - yum! If you wanted to add a protein you could saute some pancetta first and then saute your garlic in the rendered fat.

      Bon appetito!

    2. ipsedixit Dec 13, 2010 09:06 AM

      I add fresh basil right before I serve the pizza.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        monavano Dec 13, 2010 09:25 AM

        And I put it on before it goes on the grill! I cook at 650+ degrees, and on a pizza stone, so it only takes 2 minutes or so.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          todao Dec 13, 2010 06:33 PM

          ipsedixit wrote:

          "I add fresh basil right before I serve the pizza."

          Me too ... I'd never put fresh herbs on top of a pizza before baking.

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