Fresh peaches have started showing up at local farmer’s markets and grocery stores and I could NOT be more excited. Peaches are one of my favourite fruits, raspberries are their only real competition.
Putting fruit on a pizza always kind of reminds me of the dessert pizzas that I used to fill my plate with at the Pizza Hut lunch buffet. Pizza Hut is my favourite fast food pizza chain. The secret to the addictiveness is all in their crust, I’ve heard rumours that they put an entire stick of butter in the pan when cooking to get that deliciously flavourful thick crust.
In this case, because I don’t want people up in arms accusing me of giving them a coronary, this is a relatively thin-crust, involving no butter. I have included the recipe for pizza dough from scratch below. If you intend to make your own dough, you’ll need to budget at least an additional hour and fifteen minutes to your prep time. I would recommend mixing, kneading and rising the dough the night before (or up to 4 days before), popping it in the fridge and letting it come to room temperature for 3-4 hours before rolling, for the best result.
I’ve used a lovely basil pesto as the sauce for this pizza. It’s light, fresh and pairs beautifully with the peaches.
The goat cheese adds a subtle tanginess. Arugula has that pleasant kick of pepper and then the balsamic reduction brings acidity. In combination, this is the perfect summer pizza that manages to strike a balance between sweet and savoury.
If you make your dough on the weekend or opt for store-bought, you can execute this recipe in 30 minutes or less. Reducing the balsamic is the most time-consuming component. In addition, this pizza requires almost zero technical know-how in the kitchen, so even those without knife skills could pull this off.
This pie is vegetarian so would be a good fit for meatless Monday – if you you wanted to add some protein, I wouldn’t be against a few well-placed slices of prosciutto.
Balsamic Peach and Pesto Pizza
- 1 ball pizza dough homemade (recipe follows) or store-bought
- 4 oz mozzarella grated
- 3 oz goat cheese crumbled
- 1/2 peach thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup corn kernels fresh or canned
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
- kosher salt
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour + more for kneading
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, heat in oven for 30 minutes before baking to ensure it's thoroughly hot.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until balsamic vinegar is reduced to 1/4 cup.
Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza dough into a large, thin circle. Transfer to oiled pizza baking sheet (if using).
Spread 1/3 to 1/2 cup of basil pesto across dough, leaving 1/2" clearance at edges for crust. Top with mozzarella and goat cheese. Add peach slices.
Transfer dough to pizza stone if using, or pop the assembled pizza on the baking sheet into the oven. Cook for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden-brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with arugula. Drizzle 3-4 tbsp of balsamic reduction over top. Slice and serve!
Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until mostly smooth, leave a bit of texture.
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and honey. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 5-8 minutes.
Add the whole wheat flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough forms but is still sticky. Using your hands, on a floured surface, form the dough into a ball. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or until smooth. All of the mixing and kneading can also be done in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
Rub the same bowl with olive oil, then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and place back in the bowl. Cover and place the bowl in the fridge over night or up to 3 days. Remove from the fridge 3-4 hours before baking. Alternately, you can use the dough after the first rising, but I find the dough has the best flavor after it has sat overnight.
Seriously delicious combination of flavours! I absolutely LOVE pesto and paired with peaches I can only imagine how delicious this is! I look forward to trying this recipe this summer!
Taste and Tipple
Thanks Jessica! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!