Top This: Black Garlic and Pancetta Pizza (à la Toby's Public House)

Top This

Learn how to work a new topping onto your pies.

[Photographs: Erin Mosbaugh]

Black garlic is mysterious, elusive, and awesome on pizza. Ok, it's not all that elusive seeing as this intriguing ingredient is used extensively in Korean, Thai, and Japanese cooking and can be found at Asian food stores. Black garlic is garlic that has undergone a month long fermentation, during which it transforms into black nuggets with a soft, chewy consistency and a concentrated, sweet, umami flavor with hints of balsamic vinegar.

Chef Alvaro Medina of Toby's Public House in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn uses black garlic to top his smoked pancetta pizza, which also features crimini mushrooms, mozzarella, and Parmigiano. The taste combination is a knockout—the sweet, vinegary flavor of the garlic plays against the smoky, salty meat—it essentially blows your mind.

We urge you to track down some black garlic (available online at and make this excellent pizza at home. Serve it to your friends and wow them with your knowledge of chefy ingredients. Just follow the slideshow to find out how.

What You'll Need (for one pizza)

  • 1 dough portion (Try this recipe for NY style, thin-crust dough)
  • 4 cloves black garlic
  • Peeled, canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • Crimini mushrooms
  • Low-moisture mozzarella (such as Polly-O), cubed
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Smoked pancetta
  • Fresh oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Toby's Public House

132 East 56th Street, NY, 10022 (map) 718-788-1186;