Summer for me is all about easy, seasonal meals that delight the senses and tame the hunger like my Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza.
I call this playful food; because it combines such fun ingredients that play so well together. I have to admit, fruit and cheese are like long-lost lovers meant to be together. Whether they’re used in a sweet or savory recipe, they always happily compliment each other.
I like my pizza simply topped with just a few fresh ingredients. During the summer months I like to dress pizza with fresh made pesto from basil, arugula or spinach. If I’ve got a plethora of Swiss chard, kale and collard greens in the garden, I’ll often toss those into the pesto as well. Then I top it with fresh summer fruit and either feta, brie or goat cheese.
The end result is a light but flavorful Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza that enchants my palate. Not to mention, it brings many happy faces to my table.
I’ve got a delicious pizza crust recipe included however, because I’ve got a gluten intolerant kiddo, I often make a low-carb pizza crust instead. It uses almond flour and mozzarella cheese as the base and I must say it’s divine. A little work to prepare but the end result is worth it. You can find the recipe here. There are several versions of this low-carb crust, however, I like this recipe and the website gives step by step instructions which makes it much easier when preparing the crust for the first time.
Cheers to the summer and all the summer deliciousness ahead!
Loads of Love,
Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza
1-2 12-inch pizza crusts or pre-made pizza crusts, flatbread, Naan or pita bread rounds
1/2 – 1 cup traditional basil pesto or your own homemade pesto
4 apricots, pitted and sliced
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 bunch basil, whole leaves only
Easy Pizza Dough
¾ cups (6 ounces) lukewarm water
1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
2 cups (10 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
To Make the Pizza Crust
Heat the oven to 500° F. If you are using a pizza stone, place it in the middle of the oven.
Mixing the pizza dough - Measure the water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and let it dissolve, about 30 seconds. Stir the water to dissolve the yeast.
Add the flour, salt and sugar to the water and mix with a wooden spoon or bowl scraper until the dough starts to come together.
Lightly dust the counter or board with flour and move the dough to the floured space. With floured hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
Resting the pizza dough - With a bench knife, divide the dough into 2 pieces. Round each piece of dough and place the dough rounds on a lightly floured counter to rest for 30 minutes. (While the dough is resting, prepare your toppings.)
After 30 minutes, fold the dough by stretching each side and folding it into the middle of the dough. Gather the dough into a ball and let it rest again for 15 to 30 minutes.
Shaping the pizza dough - Handling one piece of dough at a time, gently stretch the dough with floured hands. You can also use a rolling pin, but I prefer using my hands. Once the dough is about ¼ - ½ inch thick, lay it on a piece of very lightly floured parchment. You can adjust the shape at this point, but don’t worry about it being perfectly round. Shape the second piece of dough.
Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
To Assemble the Pizza
If using homemade pizza dough, spread ¼ cup or more of basil pesto on the pizza dough. Top with crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices and basil leaves.
Bake the pizza on the parchment in a 450°F oven either on the heated pizza stone or on a cookie sheet. The pizza is done baking when the crust is brown and crisp on the edge and bottom. This should take about 6 to 10 minutes.
Remove the pizza from the oven, garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about five minutes, then cut and serve.
If using a pre-made pizza crust, Naan, flatbread or Pita round
Reduce the oven heat to 400F and place them on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
Top the crusts with ¼ cup or more of basil pesto, crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices and basil leaves. Bake in the oven for about 5-8 minutes or just until the goat cheese looks soft and slightly melted and the crust is golden brown.
Remove it from the oven and garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about five minutes then cut slices and serve.