Avocado, Basil & Lemon Zest Pizza

This avocado pizza is based on The Avocado Festival Pizza at The Luggage Room in Pasadena, Ca, a great pizza place that makes a wonderful sourdough crust. The Luggage Room puts their basil, avocado and lemon zest all on after the pizza is cooked. When I make this pizza, I add the lemon zest and avocado before it's cooked. I also use mushrooms. 

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About Basil on Pizza

For the basil, I sometimes put it on over the sauce, and under the cheese. This infuses the sauce with an extra basily flavor that it's difficult to capture otherwise. If I want significant basil flavor, I might also put some fresh on top after the pizza is cooked.  I've read that you can douse the basil in olive oil and then cook it on top. I've tried this, but the basil still turns a little brown, and it makes the pizza oilier than I like. I also tried soaking the basil beforehand in lemon juice (thinking it might stop the browning) and olive oil and just found it to be a bit too much of each.

About Lemon Zest on Pizza

I've tried soaking the avocado in lemon juice, as well, to see how this might affect the flavor.  The lemon zest is definitely preferable to soaking either the basil or avocado in lemon juice. Me preferred method is to mix the zest in with a couple cloves of chopped garlic and sprinkle it over the top before cooking. 

About Avocados on Pizza

The avocados can be either cooked on the pizza or put on after. A cooked avocado is going to get nice and creamy, so one deciding factor will likely be how ripe the avocado is. I might put a riper avocado on after the pizza is cooked. The avocado pictured below was actually not quite ripe (which is why it charred a bit on the edges) and cooking it worked to make it soft enough to be edible. A raw avocado is also going to add cool contrast against the hot cheese. When I want this, I definitely add the avocado after. 

After the pizza is finished cooking, let is rest a few minutes, then set the basil very lightly on top of the cheese. The less the leaves touch the cheese, the less they will brown. For this pizza, I added cilantro flowers. 

Cut and enjoy!


-Anna's sourdough or crust of your choice


-Anna's red sauce (or any other sauce of your choice)


-at least 1/4 fresh avocado, sliced 

-4 oz. cut or grated mozzarella

-zest of 1/2 lemon (or more)

-chopped garlic to taste

-handful of fresh basil

(-optional: mushrooms)

(-optional: cilantro flowers)

Other Toppings

-soft cooked egg (see Nasturtium Pizza for instructions how to do this)

-basil pesto

-for a vegan version, sub Daiya mozzarella cheese

-for a meaty version, add bacon