Florentine Pizza with Leeks

Jim Robinson

By Jim Robinson

Updated

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5 from 2 votes

This Florentine pizza features homemade dough, sauteed leeks, gooey mozzarella, and a sunny-side-up egg right in the middle. Perfect for a Friday night in, this crispy pizza, as strange as it may look, is about to become your new favorite pie.

Florentine pizza with a slice portion.

Our take on this odd pie features a few classic Florentine ingredients, including spinach, fresh mozzarella, and, of course, a runny egg.

But we also added a bit of a twist by putting sauteed leeks front and center on this texture-ific pizza.

And to make it even better, we prepare it on hand-kneaded, homemade dough.

If you haven’t made your own pizza dough, you’re in for a real treat!

Perfect for date night, weekend lounging, or just spoiling yourself on a night in, this is one simple dinner recipe worthy of special occasions.

It is wonderful all on its own but made even better when paired with a chopped salad and peach-infused water with basil.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Whips up quickly. If you make the dough ahead of time, this amazing pizza can be ready in just 15 minutes.
  • It isn’t your typical pizza. If you’re getting tired of bland, boring pies, this Florentine pizza promises to spice things up.
  • So. Many. Textures. Florentine pizza is loved the world over for its unique combination of satisfying textures.
  • Perfect meal for two. Looking for an easy date night dinner that doesn’t involve eating out? You’ve found it.

What Is Florentine Pizza?

If you’re looking for a simple answer to what Florentine pizza is, you’re not going to find it. That’s because this well-traveled pizza has taken on many different forms as it’s been passed around the globe.

The name Florentine has roots in Florence, Italy. But it wasn’t until Florentine food found its way to Paris that the term became popularized to describe a certain culinary style.

That style, interestingly, centers around a creamy, garlicky, white spinach sauce used in a variety of dishes from pasta to baked chicken.

Originally, the term “Florentine pizza” was used to describe pies made with a base of white sauce and dressed in spinach.

But at some point, the Italians put an egg on this pizza and turned it into a breakfast dish.

Through the years, Florentine Pizza, which is called Fiorentina in Italy, continued to evolve.

Eventually, any pizza with an egg, whether dressed in red sauce or white, was deemed Florentine Pizza.

How to Make Florentine Pizza with Leeks

The hardest part of this recipe is making your own pizza dough, but I promise it’s worth it.

That thin, crispy, hand-kneaded crust is the perfect stage for savory leeks, gooey mozzarella, and that runny egg.

Key Ingredients

  • Leeks. This underrated allium has a mild, subtly sweet onion flavor that pairs perfectly with the umami flavor of egg yolk and the saltiness of fresh mozzarella. Make sure you get leeks, which are thick and pale green, rather than scallions which are smaller and bright green.
  • Mozzarella. Don’t settle for bagged and shredded mozzarella for this recipe. Instead, opt for fresh ball mozzarella. This type isn’t dried and thus has a more robust flavor and softer texture. 
  • Egg. This is the key ingredient to this recipe. I recommend going big with an extra large free-range egg. The bigger the egg, the more gooey yolk will spill onto each piece.
  • Red Sauce. You can make your own or pick up your favorite from the store. We love this one

Step-by-Step Instructions

How to Make the Dough

Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients with water. Start by mixing the yeast and water, then let it sit for a few minutes before adding the flour and mixing well.

Dough mixture in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Knead the dough. Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a flat floured surface, and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

Step 3: Let it set. Cover the dough in olive oil, place it in a covered bowl, and let it rise in a warm location for about an hour and a half. 

Risen dough in a mixing bowl.

Step 4: Flatten the dough into a pizza crust. Start by punching the air out of it then flatten into a 12-inch circle. 

How to Dress the Pizza

Step 1: Saute the leeks. Add butter and leeks to a frying pan and saute until they begin to soften.

Step 2: Add the toppings. Place all toppings except the egg on the pizza and cook for 5 minutes.

Florentine pizza in slices.

Step 3: Add the egg. Break the egg in the center of the pizza and return it to the oven to cook for 5 more minutes.

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • Make the dough ahead of time. It will take between 1 to 1.5 hours for the dough to double in size, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time. 
  • Cold ferment the dough. Another option is to cold ferment the dough by placing it in your fridge for about 48 hours. This makes for a much more flavorful and enjoyable crust in the end!
  • Go traditional with the sauce. One fun variation for this recipe is to use a traditional Florentine cream sauce in place of red sauce.
  • Mix it up. Spinach and eggs are the staples of modern Florentine pizza, but the other ingredients can easily be swapped out for your favorite vegetables or even prosciutto or chicken.

Make Ahead and Storage Recommendations

To make the prep process easier for this pizza, you can make the dough up to two days ahead of time.

The easiest way to do this is to cold-ferment the dough in the fridge for 48 hours. But if you don’t quite have that much time, you can warm-ferment it on the counter for about an hour and then stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.

The finished pizza is best served warm straight out of the oven. But if you have leftovers, you can keep them in the refrigerator and reheat them later on. Be sure to store the leftover slices in an airtight container and use them within five days.

The microwave is the easiest way to reheat pizza, but you’ll lose that crispy crust. A better option is to use the bake function on an air fryer.

Florentine pizza in slices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you put spinach under or on top of the cheese on Florentine Pizza?

The short answer: either! It really is a matter of your personal taste. Spinach placed on top of the cheese will wilt and burn at the edges in the oven. Spinach placed under the mozzarella will soften without scorching.

What flour is best for making pizza dough?

We used all-purpose flour in this recipe because most people have it on hand. But if you want an easier time stretching the raw dough and a chewier crust, try using bread flour instead. The higher protein content of this dough allows for greater yeast action and a more elastic product.

Do I need a pizza stone to make Florentine pizza?

Pizza stones are great for helping deliver a perfectly crispy, evenly cooked crust, but they aren’t necessary. You can easily cook your Florentine pizza on a cookie sheet or other flat baking sheet and achieve good results. 

Try These Other Great Leek Recipes

Love leeks? Then you’ll love these other delicious leek-centered recipes.

Florentine pizza in slices.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Florentine Pizza with Leeks

This Florentine pizza features homemade dough, sautéed leeks, gooey mozzarella, and a sunny-side-up egg right in the middle. Perfect for a Friday night in, this crispy pizza, as strange as it may look, is about to become your new favorite pie.
Prep Time2 hours
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, French, Italian
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 563kcal

Ingredients

Crust

  • 3/4 cups water lukewarm
  • 1 tsp. dried yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt

Toppings

  • 5 tbsps pizza sauce
  • baby spinach handful
  • 1 leek sauted
  • 1 ball cheese mozzarella
  • 1 egg
  • black pepper ground, for Seasoning

Instructions

  • To make the pizza base, place the water and yeast in a bowl and mix. Let sit for a few minutes while you weigh out the flour.
  • Add the flour to the yeast mixture and mix until you have a shaggy dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for around 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springs back when poked. Lightly cover the dough in olive oil, place in a large bowl, cover and leave to rise somewhere warm for 1.5 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Punch the air out of the dough and use your hands to press it into a circle roughly 12 inches in diameter, don’t worry about being too exact.
  • Preheat the oven to 428°F (220°C) and let it get completely hot before putting the pizza in the oven.
  • Saute the leeks with a little butter in a frying pan until they begin to soften – 5-10 mins.
  • Top the pizza with all the toppings except the egg and place in the oven for 5 minutes. Pull out and crack the egg into the centre. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

If you want to save some prep time, you can make the dough up to 48 hours ahead of time using cold fermentation.
For a more traditional Florentine experience, substitute red sauce for Florentine white sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 370mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1023IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 8mg

Images by Lauren Caris Short.

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