Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pancetta Pizza with Olives, Dates, and Leek

Pizzas made with a few flavorful ingredients are so much tastier than the “loaded” kind. And simple to make at home.

Here, I use store-bought pizza crusts and skip the tomato sauce altogether. Instead, a brush of olive oil, fresh tomato slices, and creamy fresh mozzarella provide a moist base for the pie. Thin slices of pancetta and black olives add a salty bite, while chopped dates and leek bring a flavorful balance of sweet and savory. It’s simple, tasty, and very inviting.  

Fruit and Vegetable Toppings
Of course, nothing beats homemade dough. For an easy recipe, check out Pizza with Prosciutto, Red Onion, and Fresh Tomatoes.

Serves 4-6

  • 2 12-inch pizza crusts
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • about 30 thin slices of roma tomatoes  
  • sea salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 fresh mozzarella balls (4 oz each), thinly sliced
  • 30 very thin slices of pancetta (about 6 oz)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted calamata olives (or other black olives)
  • 1 medium leek, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
Mozzarella and Pancetta
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Lay the pizza crusts on double layers of parchment paper and brush generously with olive oil. Divide the tomato slices on the crusts (don’t overlap). Season with salt and pepper and divide the mozzarella slices on top of the tomatoes.
Tomato Layer 
Mozzarella Layer
  1. Top the cheese with pancetta slices, olives, dates, and leek.
Pancetta Layer 
Pizza Ready to Bake
  1. Bake each pizza until the cheese is bubbly, the pancetta is just cooked (it won’t be crispy), and the crust is slightly crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the pizzas to a cutting board and let rest 2 minutes.
Baked Pizza
 Cut into serving slices and serve hot.

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