The past couple of weeks it seems like my social media feed has been full of people making peach pizzas. Peach and ricotta. Peach and Mozzarella. Peach and Goat Cheese. Peach with tomato sauce. Peach with pesto. I will admit, I never thought about a peach pizza until recently, but I don’t know why. I love pineapple on pizza, so why wouldn’t another fruit like peach be a logical next step?
I decided that this weekend I was going to make a Peach and Chevre pizza. I scoured the interwebs for the perfect recipe, but nothing really grabbed me. Now I can go off recipe for quite a few things and those are usually Italian options. Each fall I make a huge batch of bolognese sauce that keeps me going through the winter. I don’t follow a consistent recipe with that. When I make a homemade pizza, I go off book too. This recipe felt a little more daunting – I really didn’t know what I wanted to taste with this meal. But hell, as I always say, if I try something new and it sucks, I can always just order…well….pizza.
I knew I wanted peaches and goat cheese (chevre), so we hit the farmer’s market for the peaches and stopped by Whole Foods for the pizza crust and some chevre. I decided to keep it pretty simple. I wasn’t going to mix and match cheeses, I wasn’t going to layer in some tomato sauce or pesto. I wanted to really focus on the two main ingredients: peaches and chevre.
I started off by preheating the oven to 450F (230C or Gas Mark 8).
I rolled out the Whole Foods whole wheat pizza dough into a quarter inch thickness (rectangular, only because getting the dough perfectly round never really works for me…) and brushed with the good olive oil. I say good olive oil because we perpetually have two kinds at home – the kind that we use in every day cooking and is kept in a bottle with a spigot next to the stove and the other olive oil that is usually used to make salad dressings or as a final finishing touch to something. Yes, I used the good oil here. A light brushing over the top was the perfect base to this culinary canvas I was dreaming about. I should say that at this point I had already put this dough on a cookie sheet with a silpat liner (we use both the fancy French version as well as the Amazon Basics version – I find they work exactly the same).
I sliced up two peaches – about 1/4 inch thickness and placed them all over the freshly oiled pizza crust. I wasn’t sure how much chevre I’d need so I grabbed an 11 ounce size at the store (I used just over half, but could have used more) and crumbled it by hand over the pizza. I then decided to cut up some fresh scallions and sprinkle over the top. Finishing it off with some freshly ground pepper and some sea salt.
I tossed this bad boy in the oven and cooked initially for 10 minutes – just to see how it worked. It wasn’t done, but the critical thing to remember is that chevre isn’t a moist cheese, so it doesn’t melt like mozzarella. I ended up cooking the pizza for about 18 minutes until the crust was brown (not too golden), the peaches were soft and the chevre was very tender and just starting to brown.
While the pizza baked, I put a half cup of good balsamic (we don’t use much balsamic, so I think we only had the good stuff around…I think it was the good stuff because it resided next to the good olive oil) into a sauce pan over medium high heat to reduce it. I wanted a nice thick balsamic drizzle over my pizza once it was done. Cook the vinegar until you are left with about 2 tablespoons of the reduction. I also ran out to the garden and grabbed some basil (both traditional and purple). I ran it under some water (pretty haphazardly) dried it, rolled it into a tube and quickly ran a knife though it. A quick chiffinade was all I needed to do here.
The timer rang and my pizza was finally done. My first thought was “Damn, this needs something. More cheese? More peaches? A traditional sauce?” I let it cool for about five minutes then sprinkled the basil and cut it into squares.
I was very pleased with the flavors – the peaches were so sweet and still held their shape, despite the slicing and the heat of the oven. Drizzle your balsamic reduction over the entire pie and dig in. As I finished my first slice, I decided to walk out to the garden and grab a jalapeno pepper. I sliced the pepper (about 1/8″ – 1/4″) and placed the raw peppers on my pizza. The peppers were just what this needed. It added a great kick to the pizza and paired just perfectly with the peaches.
Want to follow my lead? Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- One portion store bought pizza dough (or homemade if you so choose)
- 2 tablespoons of the good olive oil
- Two ripe peaches cut into 1/8″ slices (discard the pit)
- Two scallions – thinly sliced (both white and green portions)
- About 6 ounces of chevre – although feel free to use more
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil – chiffanade
- One jalapeno, sliced very thin
- Salt and Pepper (freshly ground, of course) to taste
- 1/4 cup of the good balsamic vinegar
Do you make pizzas with fruit fresh from the farmers market? What would you add to my recipe? Send me pix of your summer pizza creations – I can’t ever get enough pizza options!