Nectarine Pizza with Fresh Basil and Reduced Balsamic

I ate this whole pizza tonight. All of it. By myself. Not one slice remains for me for my breakfast tomorrow. I tried to refrain. No dice. So, if you’re still in summer-bathing-suit mode, avert your eyes.

This combination is so good. I believe the original, a pie hailing from Paso Robles where the dear friend who introduced me to this creation had just vacationed, called for peaches, but nectarines are a fine substitute. I’ve used an herbed goat cheese here with some Parmigiano Reggiano but I think some fresh ricotta or buffalo mozzarella or mascarpone or all three would be a nice substitute (or addition?) for the goat cheese. The Parmigiano, I think, is a must.

Fresh basil or some sprigs of arugula sprinkled on the just-baked pizza is key. It needs that hit of freshness as well as that bite from the reduced balsamic. Yum yum yum yum yum. Just don’t burn your balsamic. I did. Twice. Oiy. It’s really annoying. Really try not to do that.

Gosh, I don’t know what else to say. This is delicious and summery and fun, and I think you should make it.

Nectarine Pizza with Fresh Basil and Reduced Balsamic

Each pizza serves 1-2 people

pizza dough (recipe below)

Toppings For 1 pizza:
olive oil for greasing
cheese: fresh ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, goat cheese, mascarpone, whatever you like
1 nectarine, sliced thinly, (not paper thin)
shavings of fresh Parmigianno Reggiano
fresh basil

Reduced balsamic:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Place balsamic in a small sauté pan. Turn heat to medium high. Let simmer until reduced and noticeably thick — watch it like a hawk. If it burns, it’s ruined. There’s no salvaging burnt balsamic. Err on the side of under reduced. It reduces more than you expect as it’s cooling. Remove from heat.

Pizza Dough
Adapted from Todd English’s The Figs Table
Makes four 8- to 10-inch pizzas (Serves 1 to 2 people per pizza, dough freezes beautifully)

¼ cup whole wheat flour
3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 2/3 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Place the flours and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. (Or knead by hand. I have not had luck making this in the food processor — the engine starts smoking after about five minutes.) Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and let sit for five minutes until the mixture bubbles slightly. Add the olive oil and stir. With the mixer on low, gradually add the oil-water mixture into the bowl. Knead until the dough is firm and smooth, under 10 minutes. The dough will be very wet and sort of difficult to work with. I liberally coat my hands with flour before attempting to remove it.

2. Divide the dough into four balls, about 7½ ounces each. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. (Be sure to oil the parchment paper.) Place two balls on a sheet. Lightly rub the balls with olive oil, then cover loosely with plastic wrap. The dough is very sticky and wet, so, be sure to coat the balls or the plastic with oil. Let the balls rise in a warm spot until they have doubled in bulk, about two hours.

Note: This dough freezes beautifully. After the initial rise, punch down the dough, wrap it in plastic and place in a Ziplock bag. Freeze for several months. When ready to use, let sit at room temperature for about an hour, then proceed with rolling/topping/baking.

3. To roll out the dough: Dab your fingers in flour and then place one ball on a generously floured work surface. Press down in the center with the tips of your fingers, spreading the dough with your hand. When the dough has doubled in width, use a floured rolling pin (or continue using floured hands if you are skilled at making pizzas) and roll out until it is very thin, like flatbread. The outer portion should be a little thicker than the inner portion. Note: If the dough is being very stubborn, let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. In this time, the gluten will relax, and the dough will be much easier to work with.

Baking:

1. Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Line a sheetpan with parchment paper or grease lightly with olive oil. Place rolled out dough onto parchment paper or greased pan. Drizzle dough with a little olive oil and with your hand, rub it over the surface to coat evenly.

2. Cover the dough with a layer of cheese — mozzarella, goat cheese, ricotta mascarpone, whatever you wish. Arrange one layer of sliced nectarines or peaches on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the fruit layer with fresh Parmigiano Reggiano. Place pizza in your very hot oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is slightly brown and the cheese is melting.

3. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh basil or arugula. Drizzle with the reduced balsamic. Slice and serve. Yum.

Comments

  1. Kelly says

    Imagine this grilled…

    Oil one side of the dough, grill it oil-side down for a few minutes until grill marks appear, flip, top and cook for a few more minutes. Finish in the oven if cheese needs more melting.

    Oy indeed.

  2. says

    Holy smoke, this sounds like the ultimate summer pizza! We’ll go to the farmer’s market tomorrow for nectarines and make this on Sunday. Many thanks.

  3. says

    I’ve been helping a local pub put together a menu for a Californian wine dinner. And I have been struggling to convince them that pizzetti bianci with fig and goats cheese is a TOTALLY Californian thing to do. I have to show him this post.

  4. KK says

    Made this last night for dinner (w/ peaches and mozz.) – so good! To cut the prep time I used Trader Joe’s pizza dough.

  5. says

    Just made this last night (though I used Peter Reinhart’s pizza dough) with peaches and goat cheese and it was fantastic. I was surprised how mild the sweetness was… less sweet that the tomato based pizza we made with it. The peach slices were so perfectly soft and the balsamic reduction really added another dimension.

  6. Hannah says

    I tried this with a mild Italian gorgonzola — well, mild is a relative word, of course — and intensel aromatic farmers’ market basil (Phat farms, or was it Two Dog?). Amazing. Thank you, Alexandra!

  7. Nicole says

    By some miracle, I found nectarines in New England in January and made this pizza last night – it was possibly the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. I used a combination of herbed goat cheese and fresh mozzerella for the cheese, and Trader Joe’s pizza dough because of time constraints (although I’d love to try my hand at making the homemade dough!) Thanks for the recipe! Everything on your blog looks delicious, I can’t wait to try more of them!

    • says

      This makes me so happy, Nicole! I love Trader Joe’s pizza dough — it’s really a great product. I just moved back to the east coast and I don’t have a TJ’s near me…very sad about this. So glad you liked the pizza! I’m a New Englander myself — grew up in CT.

  8. Mary says

    Looks yummolicious! This really doesn’t sound that fattening to me so I think even ifyou are still in bathing suit mode you could eat it! Can’t wait to try it :) Thanks

  9. kate says

    I felt compelled to comment that this pizza dough recipe is fantastic. I’ve made two batches now, incorporating a lot more flour while kneading the second time. both turned out great, but the second, drier, batch was a dream to work with, and it froze very well. The cooked crust has a nice balance between chewy and crispy. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Kate — So glad to hear this! I made this last night for 6 friends. We had fun assembling various pizzas and baking them off two at a time and standing around the kitchen grazing all night.

  10. Heather says

    I was sent here by Pinterest. Made this last night for my hubby and me and we were in HEAVEN!!! It was PHENOMENAL. I used, ricotta, goat cheese crumbles, blue cheese crumbles, mozerella, and then the parmiggianno on top of the apricot slices and it was perfect. The blue cheese added a delicious zing, I highly recommend! I also used trader joe’s whole wheat dough to save time and it was perfect! Thank you so much for sharing. This will become a staple in our household!

  11. says

    This pizza looks SO good! I love using fruit on pizza – such a tasty topping, and really makes it feel ‘special’. The nectarines and reduced balsamic sounds like such a great combo.

  12. Ann says

    So delicious. I tried it with Gruyere as the base cheese since I forgot to pick up a soft cheese and it was the mildest cheese I had. Yumtastico.

  13. Mila says

    This is the perfect summer pizza. I went to my local farmer’s market to pick up the nectarines and picked the basil out of my garden! This was a real crowd pleaser! I have been to parties at other people’s homes and they are now serving this. Thanks for sharing. This one is a keeper!

  14. Claire says

    My girlfriend and I just made this pizza last night and it was absolutely amazing! We used chevre and added a little more basil. THANKS FOR SHARING THIS RECIPE! :)

  15. says

    My family enjoyed this recipe, we’d never had anything like it before!

    I included this recipe on my new meal planning site (with a link back to this page) because I think my friends and family would like this recipe too.

    Thank you!

  16. Petra says

    Made this in mini pizzetta form for a party this weekend…delicious!!!

    Also just bought dough from the store (divided into 4 for the pizzete) and it was super quick!

  17. Joanne says

    I made the dough last week, froze it and made pizza just now. WOW it is perfect.
    I used fresh basil, black olives and anchovies. I’m in heaven. Baked it for 15 mins on 400 degrees and its perfect. Thank you!

  18. Megan says

    How do you think pears would work in this recipe?! Sounds amazing and I’ve missed the peach and nectarine season!

    Thx!!

  19. Megan says

    How do you think pears would work in this recipe?! I’d love to try this but it’s no longer peach and nectarine season!

    Thx!!

  20. says

    Loved this recipe! I used whole milk ricotta and fresh basil – YUM. I made my crust a LITTLE too thin — learning curve for next try. Thanks so much!

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