Tuesday, June 3, 2014

my best pizza yet

{RECIPE: Calabrese Pizza with Nectarine, Goat Cheese, Rosemary and Balsamic Reduction}

When it comes down to it, I have cooking-confidence in just two areas: pizza and soups (vegetable soups at that).  Hot damn if I didn't just tonight make my best pizza yet.  Inspiration leapt from the nectarines on my counter, the Calabrese salami heading south in my fridge, the arugula and spinach attempting to bolt in my garden, this recipe and that pizza in Portland.  Seriously people.  I almost never say this about my own cooking (because it's almost never true), but this pizza is damned good.

The Recipe:

I am an Oh-shit-it's-4:00-and-I-wanted-to-make-pizza! kind of gal, so I typically revert to this super easy, relatively fast dough recipe from Smitten.  I double the recipe for two pizzas and use half white, half whole-wheat flour.  I preheat my oven to its lowest setting then extinguish it for a place to raise dough (most of my house is too cool to get enough rising in an hour or so).  I'm sure there are much better dough recipes out there if you're not in a rush.  This one takes just a few minutes before leaving to rise.  

Dough balls
Olive oil
Fresh Rosemary, chopped
Goat cheese
Calabrese salami in thin deli slices and chopped
Mozzarella, grated
Nectarines, thinly sliced (I used two per pizza)
Balsamic vinegar
Chives, chopped

While dough is rising, simmer Balsamic vinegar in a pan until it is the consistency of warm, runny honey.  Set aside (it will thicken while it cools--if it thickens too much just add water, stir and re-heat).

Preheat oven to highest setting.  (This is key.  I was always afraid I'd bust my baking stone, and went for a safe 425.  Now I know why my dough was always mushy on the bottom.  No more!)

Roll-out (or toss, if you're that awesome) pizza dough and place on baking sheet.  Spread olive oil all over, sprinkle with rosemary, goat cheese, and calabrese.  Lightly cover with grated mozzarella.  Top with thinly sliced nectarines.  Bake about 10 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Meanwhile, toss together spinach, arugula and a sprinkling of chives with regular balsamic vinegar.

Pull the pizza from oven, drizzle with your balsamic reduction and top with a great heap of the fresh greens.  And then tell me, did you like it?
^I barely caught a photo of this vanishing pizza.  Sorry--food photography is not my forte, even when it *hasn't* been half-eaten.^  

* Pizza is the one meal where I will make a "kid's version" since I'm making two anyway.  Sometimes I want to go out on a limb that I'm pretty sure my kids won't appreciate.  For this pizza, my "kid's version" was the same except I added a thin layer of red sauce over the olive oil and rosemary, I didn't add as much goat cheese (they claim not to like it but I'm working them up), and I cut the nectarine into chunks that looked a little more like pineapple.  Plus, I topped with just the chives and no balsamic reduction.  Served with garden asparagus on the side, they completely devoured this meal.


  1. oh my those pictures!!! I absolutely love homemade pizza!

  2. I've been making some version of this pizza ever since you posted about the one you ate in Portland.
    So, so good. I'll have to try it with nectarines.
    That picture of Hazel is wonderful!

    1. And the balsamic reduction drizzled over the top! The one in Portland didn't have that, exactly (although I guess the pears were grilled in balsamic...). Isn't it wonderful? So glad you've tried it : )

  3. YUM! Now I know what we are having for dinner tonight! :) (KIds are gone all week so I don't even have to do another version!! YEAH!)


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