Lemon-and-Italian-Cheese Pizza


Martha loves this unusual, but delicious combination.

1 12-inch pizza

Ready to try something different and delicious? Put lemons on your next homemade pie. This creative recipe, which skips the classic tomato sauce and mozzarella entirely, is also a cheese lover's dream. It's topped with two Italian cow's milk cheeses: sweet, buttery Fontina from the Alps and Piave, a nutty, dense cheese from the Veneto area. Thinly sliced red onion, fresh onion, and (of course) paper-thin slices of lemon enhance the cheeses' flavors.

This vegetarian pizza starts with a basic homemade dough that calls for all-purpose flour and an envelope of active dry yeast. While you could use store-bought dough for this simple pizza recipe, Martha suggests you embrace the fun process of making your own. She also advocates for kneading the dough by hand, rather than in your stand mixer with a dough hook. Topping the pizza is fast and easy, as is cooking it—so long as you preheated the oven.

For a crispy crust, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F for one hour before baking.


  • 3 ounces Piave cheese, shaved

  • 2 ounces fontina cheese, shaved

  • 1 round Chris Bianco's Pizza Dough

  • ¼ red onion, very thinly sliced

  • 6 very thin slices lemon, seeds removed

  • 1 tablespoon small sprigs fresh rosemary

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


sliced lemon cheese pizza
Mike Krautter
  1. Place a pizza stone on floor of gas oven (remove racks) or bottom rack of electric oven. Preheat oven to at least 500 degrees for 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, arrange onion and lemon slices over dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Distribute cheeses evenly; top with rosemary. Season with pepper; drizzle with oil.

  3. Switch oven to broiler setting. Align edge of peel with edge of stone. Tilt peel, jerking it gently to move pizza. When edge of pizza touches stone, quickly pull back peel to transfer pizza to stone. (Do not move pizza.) Broil until bubbles begin to form in crust, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce temperature to 500 degrees, and bake until crust is crisp and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes more. (If not using broiler, bake pizza 10 to 15 minutes total.) Remove pizza from oven using peel. Slice and serve.

Cook's Notes

Piave is a sweet and nutty aged cow's milk cheese, available at specialty-food stores. Any Parmesan can be substituted.


You can also skip the fontina and just use 3 ounces of Piave cheese, shaved, to top this pizza.

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