Friday, July 18, 2008

Nectarines... on pizza!

We don't make homemade pizza nearly as often as we should - I'm thinking that we may just have to dedicate at least two or three days a month to try out different variations. When I went to pick up the nectarines for that curried chicken salad from last night, I also picked up a few extra for snacking on and one to make this unusual Nectarine and Prosciutto Pizza for dinner.

As with most pizza's we make, I did use our favorite homemade whole wheat pizza dough - one caveat though, I swapped out the all-purpose flour for bread flour to make the crust a little more sturdy* and crisp. Saying that, we've made this dough several times with all-purpose flour and it has never let us down in taste or texture!

Once we patted the dough out on a crunchy cornmeal dusted peel, we slid it onto a fiery hot pizza stone to pre-bake the crust a little. When you take the crust out to top the pizza, flip it over so the lightly browned bottom now becomes the top. We first spread a thin layer of basil pesto on top, followed by a scattering of smooth provolone cheese and pungent blue cheese. Next comes shreds of salty prosciutto along with thin slices of the fresh, sweet nectarines. A bit more cheese is rained down before the pizza goes back into the oven to finish crisping up the bottom and melting those luscious layers of cheese. Once I got the pizza into the oven, Jeff was giving me that "what the heck are you thinking" eyebrow raise and finally let loose with "do you really think that this is going to taste remotely good?". You would think he would have learned by now... right?

To pull those sweet and salty flavors together, right before serving, we drizzled the pizza with a syrup-y aged balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper. As I said, Jeff was so concerned I caught him shuffling around looking for a back up! However, since he made me go for the first slice, just in case, I knew he had nothing to worry about. I have to admit, I was a little worried that it seemed like a bit too much going on for pizza, but once I sunk my teeth through the warmed fruit, melted cheese and hit that crisp crust, I was sold! That finishing touch of balsamic was magic and I'll have to remember to try that out with other recipes. And as far as Mr. Unsure? I caught him going back for an extra slice even after I stashed them in the refrigerator!

*If you have a grill, by all means you could just as easily prepare the pizza on the grill so you don't heat up the house - I would recommend using bread for the dough if you plan to grill it for a little extra strength. Just flop the dough circle onto the grill, close the lid and cook the crust for three minutes or so, until the bottom is lightly browned. Flip the crust, spread all the goodies on top just as directed in the recipe and it will be done in a quick 8 minutes - just enough time for the cheese to melt and the bottom to crisp. The smoky flavor that would permeate into the pizza from the grill would be an excellent compliment to this sweet and salty pizza.


  1. What was Jeff's reaction? Did he love it? It looks wonderful. Jancd

  2. OMG Joe-- I recently went gluten-free and this pizza is making me regret that decision! This looks absoluetly delicious! Great thinking and keep up the good work!

  3. That is beautiful, what a lovely combo. Yum.

  4. Jancd - He loved it!

    Kelli - I'm pretty sure I've seen gluten-free dough mixes out there! Have you looked into them?

    Kandice - Thanks!

  5. joe - that looks wonderful. darn vegetarian me... i think it would need the meat, though.... would be too sweet without the savory.

  6. Me - I agree, the salty prosciutto made all the difference!