The daffodil wakes up, stretches out of the slush and yawns brilliant yellow. Spring is springing.

The edible garden, however, lies still asleep. We’re a while away from plucking lettuce, shelling peas, tying up tomatoes-to-be.

In anticipation, we pull out preserves. Fragrant flowers spun into honey. Brilliant basil, crushed into pesto. Creamy mozzarella, smoked sultry for the long haul.

Sweet and spicy, sharp and soothing, bright and mellow meld into a savory spring pie.


Makes one 11-inch pizza

1 pound prepared pizza dough


1/4 cup prepared pesto

6 ounces shredded smoked mozzarella

1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat: Set a pizza stone (or upside-down baking sheet) on the lowest rack of the oven. Heat oven to 500.

Roll: On a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza dough to an 11-inch circle. Let rest 15 minutes. Generously dust a pizza peel (or the backside of a baking sheet) with cornmeal. Gently set dough round on cornmeal.

Top: Spread pesto over dough, leaving bare about ½-inch at the perimeter. Sprinkle with cheese. Scatter on lemon slices. Season lightly with salt. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with red pepper.

Slide: It’s not hard to slide the pizza off the peel (or pan) and onto the baking stone, but it takes determination. Open the oven door. Lower peel to about the same level as the stone, with a slight downward angle. Forcefully shove the peel toward the stone, then quickly retract it, letting the pizza slide onto the stone.

Bake: Let bake until cheese has melted and begun to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: