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Basil pizza is a pizza that uses basil as an ingredient, generally as a replacement for oregano, a more common pizza herb. Basil can be used as a garnish on any pizza, and may be combined with other herbs, such as thyme or oregano, as a pizza topping. The most basic recipe for basil pizza consists of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and basil on a dough base. Combining basil and tomatoes is a common practice in Italian cooking, and is often done in dishes such as tomato soup.
The basil plant naturally grows in India, Asia and Africa, but can now be found throughout the world. The basil plant is of the same genus as the peppermint plant, and is relatively similar in appearance. The leaves are green and rounded, often with pointed tips, and give off a strong aroma. This has led to basil being used widely as a herb in Italian, Vietnamese, Laotian and Thai cuisine, among others. The taste of basil features strongly in pesto, which is a green pasta sauce used in many Italian dishes, and in tomato soup. Basil can be eaten fresh, as a leaf, or in a dried form. Most convenience stores and supermarkets will stock basil in a chopped, dried form.
Pizza is an Italian food, consisting of a round bread base topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Generally, oregano is used to season pizzas, and the pie can also include a variety of different toppings, such as ham, mushrooms, peppers, olives, chicken, pineapple and pepperoni. In the United States, the circular pie is usually cut into slices before being served. Calzones are another Italian food that are basically the same as pizzas, but folded over so that the toppings are in the center and the bread envelopes them.
In making basil pizza, basil can be used in place of or alongside oregano as a herb. Certain toppings accompany basil better than others. For example, black olives work well on a pizza with fresh basil, and thyme can be used as an accompanying herb. Either fresh basil leaves or dried basil is suitable for use on basil pizza.