Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Pizza

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Pizza

A pizza with strawberries?  I have to admit that I much as I love strawberries, I never would have thought to put them on a pizza until I saw this recipe last year.   I was immediately intrigued by the spicy sweet balsamic sauce and the bacon and strawberries that topped this pizza.  Of course, it turned out delicious!  The flavors really do work well together.  I also like that there is chicken on this pizza for an extra boost of protein.

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Pizza

Though I am happy to eat a couple of large slices of this pizza for a meal, whenever I eat it I think that it would also be great as an appetizer cut into mini pieces.  Or perhaps make a light lunch of a slice of this pizza and a salad?  So many options!

After first trying this pizza last year, I waited ALL year until strawberry season arrived again.   Luckily, this pizza was every bit as good as we remembered.  It is a perfect summertime pizza to highlight the super flavorful strawberries that are everywhere right now.  Try it this summer!

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Pizza

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Pizza

Yield: 1 14 inch pizza (serves 2-4)

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry preserves (I used Trader Joe's reduced sugar)
  • 1-2 teaspoons sriracha 
  • 1 ball pizza dough (I used a half batch of sourdough starter pizza dough)
  • olive oil cooking spray (optional)
  • 4 slices applewood smoked bacon, diced and cooked until crisp
  • 6-8 ounces boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cooked and shredded (I cut into chunks, boiled, and shredded in my stand mixer)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup hulled strawberries, sliced
  • 3-4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • small handful of Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh cilanto [optional]

1)  Take the ball of pizza dough out of the fridge and let it rest on the counter for a couple of hours to come to room temperature (if you forget to do this, microwave covered on the lowest power for a couple minutes, checking every 30 seconds, to warm up).   About an hour before you want to eat, start prepping all of the ingredients (cooking chicken, cooking bacon, etc).

2) Preheat oven to 450˚ F.  Once the ball of pizza dough is room temperature, shape it into the correct shape for your pan of choice.  I prefer a 14 inch round pizza pan.   I use a rolling pin and my hands (lifting up the dough) to help it into the right shape.  Transfer to your pan of choice coated with cooking spray and let sit while the oven is preheating.  Once the oven has preheated, spray the crust with olive oil cooking spray and put it in the oven for 5 minutes to pre-bake the crust.  (Note:  if you are using a pizza stone, make sure the oven has been preheated for at least 30 minutes before putting in the pizza.  You do NOT need to pre-bake the crust if using a pizza stone.)

3)  In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 4 minutes until vinegar is thicker and syrupy.  It should have reduced to about 2 tablespoons.  In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, preserves, and sriracha.  Taste and add more sriracha if desired. 

4)  To make the pizza, spread a thin layer of sauce over the pizza crust [you might not use all the sauce depending on how big your pizza is-- you don't want too thick of a layer].  Top with the cooked chicken, bacon, onion, and strawberries.  Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese (a light layer is fine) and Parmesan cheese.

5)  Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese and crust has some light brown spots.

6) Transfer to a wire cooling rack for a few minutes (to help make sure the crust doesn't get soggy).  Sprinkle with fresh thyme or cilantro.   Cut into pieces and serve!   

(recipe barely adapted from Annie's Eats)

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