Best Pizza Toppings

What do YOU like on your pizza?  Do you have your own list of best pizza toppings?  I think we all do but that list changes every time we have a pizza depending on our mood and desires at that particular moment.  That's the great thing about pizza-it can be a delivery system for your favorite foods!

PEPPERS

peppers

Peppers are the #1 veggie go-to topping for pizza and there are untold pepper options for you to have.  Maybe you really like red or yellow peppers.  Have you tried roasting them first?  Once you do you'll never go back.  Maybe you want to go bold and use chili peppers.  Feeling really adventurous?  Serrano peppers make jalapenos seem like candy but the can add some spectacular fire to your pizza.

TOMATOES

tomatoes

Most pizza sauces use tomatoes as their base but adding thinly sliced tomatoes as a topping can be a real treat.  Because of the high moisture content in tomatoes you will want to pat them dry before using them and place them on top of the cheese.  Basil is the perfect compliment to tomatoes, add a few leaves and enjoy the aroma!

MUSHROOMS

mushrooms

Love 'em or hate 'em, mushrooms are a staple for many people when is comes to choosing best pizza toppings.  Use only fresh mushrooms, you should avoid canned mushrooms regardless of their convenience.  Slice you mushrooms thin and if possible saute them quickly in olive oil, salt and pepper.  This helps the mushroom to absorb these flavors and softens them.  If you don't have time to saute them before putting them on your pizza make sure they are very thinly sliced.

CHEESES

mozzarella cheese

Mozzarella rules in the pizza world but there are lots of other cheeses that work really well on pizzas.  Mozzarella is the most popular cheese for pizza topping because it is elastic, melts well and will darken (blister) as it bakes.  It also takes on a wonderfully chewy texture after baking.  Most cooks use low-moisture mozzarella.  It has a much longer shelf life and has a denser and saltier taste.

However, other cheese work as well as mozzarella   Here are a few that we really like:

Provolone

Provolone is a semi-hard Italian cheese and is the most popular cheese that’s blended with mozzarella. The flavor of provolone varies greatly, depending on how long it's been aged. If you want to add a sweeter flavor and creamier texture to your pizza, then go with a provolone that’s been aged for a shorter amount of time.

Cheddar

This hard, sharp-tasting cheese is a great addition to pizza. Although people don’t tend to associate cheddar cheese with pizza, it is in fact an ingredient in a lot of pizza cheese blends. Since cheddar has small elasticity, it doesn’t blister as easily as mozzarella, which is why it’s a good addition to your pies.

Parmesan

Parmigiano-Reggiano, the true Italian name for parmesan cheese, adds the perfect finishing touch to any pizza. This hard cheese, in addition to other aged Italian hard cheeses, can be shaved or shredded on top of freshly-baked pizzas.

Gruyere

Gruyere melts very nicely and has a savory flavor. When someone bites into gruyere, they experience a range of flavors, starting with sweet and ending with nutty and earthy. This cheese also doesn’t blister easily. Gruyere is great on pizzas with almost any topping, from sliced potatoes and peppers to ham and sausage.

Julia Child always kept a "cheese bag" in her refrigerator, a bag that held all of the cheese leftovers and ends from various dishes that she made.  Everyone once in a while she would shred all of the cheeses in her "cheese bag" and use that mixture to top a salad or some other dish.  Goodness but that woman was amazing!

assorted cheese

MEATS

Where do we start?  Sausage of course.  And pepperoni, gotta have that.  How about hamburger.  Oh-Canadian bacon!  Love that stuff.  Don't forget salami.  Chicken is great for a white pizza, as is shrimp.  Ham works with pineapple (be sure to try our Hawaiian Pizza) and taco meat is a must have for a taco pizza.  Anchovies and sardines are must-haves for some people while bacon and sliced steak work for others.

Face it, you can put anything on your pizza as long as YOU like it!  Change up the type of dough, use a different sauce, experiment with cheeses and fall in love with pizza all over again.