Sometimes my pizza topping combinations can be intimidating to people.
I love, and I mean LOVE to put fresh, seasonal produce on a pizza, and I don’t limit this produce to tomatoes only. I use what’s in season and create playful, sometimes unexpected, but always delicious pizza recipes. This can be alarming to people who are used to just seeing sauce and cheese atop a crust. But when I explain to them what this pizza tastes like, they are willing to try it.
And when they try it, they want more.
Let me explain this pizza to you as I explain it to everyone:
Late summer peaches and tomatoes are thinly sliced and layered on top of fresh mozzarella cheese and daubs of pesto made from arugula, walnuts, and just the teeniest touch of honey. Hello, delicious, come here often?
T0 understand why this flavor combination works, consider the following equation:
tomatoes (tangy) + peaches (sweet) + arugula (bitter) x mozzarella (creamy fat) / slight crunch (crushed walnuts)
It hits every note.
In all seriousness, I make every effort to use what’s in season, local and FRESH. Here in the great Garden State of New Jersey (hold your jokes, please), we actually have fantastic tomatoes, epic peaches, and even manage to grow our own leafy green stuff, too.
This pizza shows off (in style!) the best of what’s happening in my neck of the woods during this late summer season. If it’s what’s in season for you, too, here’s how to make it:Print
This tomato, peach and arugula pesto pizza hits all the flavor notes and makes a truly stunning display of summer’s late season produce. I love to have this pizza as a side dish at an outdoor BBQ alongside grilled flank steak or chicken and veggie skewers! NOTE: This recipe includes instructions for grilling.
- ½ cup walnuts
- 5 oz arugula
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the pizza:
- 2 large, ripe peaches, thinly sliced (no more than ¼” thick slices)
- 4 large, ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced (no more than ¼” thick slices)
- 1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or ripped into pieces
- 1/2 cup Arugula and Walnut Pesto
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 recipe simple pizza dough or sourdough pizza dough
- pastry brush
- metal tongs
- cutting board
- oven mitt
- squeezy bottle for the pesto
First, make the pesto:
- Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.
- Add all the arugula, the olive oil, honey, and salt.
- Pulse to mix thoroughly. The mixture will start to form a paste. You want it to be fluid and slightly oily, so if it appears too dry and is breaking up, add more olive oil.
- Scoop the pesto from the food processor and transfer to jars, tupperware containers or a squeeze bottle for easy application to pizzas.
- If you’re not using the pesto immediately, pour a thin layer of olive oil on top and seal the containers. You can store them in the fridge for up to a week and freeze them for up to a month.
- Heat up your grill to a high heat.
- Before you begin, it’s handy to have a few things in place: Position all your toppings in bowls alongside the grill. It may be necessary to pull up a small table next to the grill for this purpose.
- Make sure your cheese is sliced and waiting on a dish, along with the peaches and tomatoes. Have some extra olive oil handy, as well as the sea salt and pesto.
- It’s also a good idea to have some tongs and oven mitts at the ready (things get hot) and a platter or cutting board for your finished pizza.
- Oil a baking sheet with olive oil and stretch out your dough onto it.
- Make sure to brush both sides of the stretched-out pizza dough with olive oil.
- Place the stretched-out dough (without toppings) directly onto the grill grate, and close the lid. Let it bake for about 2 minutes – this goes very quickly! Don’t worry too much about getting your pizza to be round. It’s hard to place it on the grill AND keep it round. Enjoy some different shapes!
- Open the lid and using the tongs, flip the crust to the other side.
- Start with the cheese, placing slices over the top of the dough.
- Next, place the tomato and peach slices on the pizza as neatly and quickly as possible.
- Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Close the lid and allow to bake for another 2 minutes.
- Finally, remove the pizza from the grill (use those tongs again) and place it onto a cutting board. Squeeze the arugula pesto on top of the finished pizza. Slice and serve!
Don’t want to use a grill for this pizza? You can make it in the oven too with these instructions.
Keywords: pizza using fresh tomatoes, arugula pesto, fresh tomato pizza, fruit pizza, pesto pizza