7 Brilliant and Unexpected Pizza Toppings
A classic pizza Margherita is sublime, no doubt. But the fun of homemade pizza is the creativity it allows the cook; it’s a risk-free opportunity to play with flavors, use up leftovers and invent something all your own. Think of a pizza crust as a tabula rasa for whatever ingredients you have on hand. A smear of olive oil or bacon fat (or homemade sauce, if you’re feeling energetic), a few ounces of cheese, a couple slices of charcuterie or a handful of chopped vegetables, and you’re done. Great pizza doesn’t need much—just the imagination of the cook and a really hot oven.
Monday: Bresaola, Arugula and Parmesan
This is my go-to Monday night pizza because it asks so little of the cook after a long day (you don’t even need a knife, just a vegetable peeler for the cheese) and the flavors ricochet off one another in an almost heartbreakingly perfect way. Chiffon-thin cured beef, spicy greens, nutty Parmesan and an essential squeeze of citrus make me feel like I’ve been teleported to Rome for dinner.
Tuesday: Pickled Red Onions, Arugula and Coppa
Paired with spicy arugula and smoky coppa (or any other cured meat you like), these pickled onions take mere minutes to make and add a wildly satisfying and surprising tang to pizza—and they’re pretty to boot. Save the leftovers for taco night.
Wednesday: Leek, Potato, Taleggio and Fresh Thyme
By midweek, I’m ready for flavors that soothe: a pizza with buttery leeks, creamy potatoes and the pungent bite of a good stinky cheese, and the world feels calmer already.
Thursday: Broccoli Rabe with Soppressata and Egg
I adore the barely-bitter flavor of broccoli rabe, especially when it’s paired with sweet soppessata and draped with a perfectly cooked egg (or two).
Friday: Balsamic-Glazed Radicchio, Fennel Sausage and Mozzarella
Something about how the shreds of radicchio get tangled up with the syrupy balsamic and how these demure-looking little bundles secretly scream with flavor makes this a perfect way to punctuate the week.
Saturday: Summer Squash with Lemon Zest and Ricotta
Think of this as summer on a crust: chiffon-thin slices of squash draped over caramelized onions with dollops of ricotta and a burst of citrus. What’s not to love?
Sunday: Pears with Maple-Glazed Pecans and Pecorino
Mealtime is variable on Sunday, so a pizza that can double as breakfast, brunch or even dessert is kind of fun—the salty, savory pecorino against the sweet pears calls for little more than a glass of wine and good company.