My heart is so heavy for those affected by the tornadoes in my home state that I can’t really talk about anything else today. In case you haven’t heard on the news, a tornado two miles wide wiped out a swath of Central Oklahoma twenty miles long. It was a monster. The tornado came within 200 yards of my best friend’s home, where she lives with her husband and their sweet little girl, Ruby. Fortunately, they were safe in their storm shelter and her home is still intact.
I want to run back to home and help, but I know there is already a surplus of volunteers. Oklahomans are exceptionally compassionate and generous people. Oklahomans take care of one another.
If you want to help their efforts, you can donate to the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund here. The Central Oklahoma Humane Society is trying to connect lost pets with their owners and you can donate to their efforts here (designate OK Humane Disaster Relief Fund on the donor form). I thought I’d share these links because I know how many kind and caring people make their way to this blog. I don’t know how it happens, but it makes me happy.
So, pizza. I’ve been itching to share this strawberry pizza with you all for over a week now. Strawberries on a pizza might seem a little funny at first, but if you think about it, tomatoes are fruit, too. Strawberries get all juicy and roasty in the oven like tomatoes do, too. Combine them with golden mozzarella and goat cheese that melts into oblivion on a whole wheat crust and you just might find a new favorite. Top it with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction and, you guys—this pizza is a revelation.
This pizza is also super simple to make. I took a shortcut and used store-bought (Trader Joe’s) pizza dough, but Melissa has a 10-minute pizza dough recipe if you’d like to go the homemade route. For an even quicker version, you could use pre-made flatbread or naan as the base. If you enjoy strawberries, goat cheese, basil and balsamic vinegar, I have no doubt you’ll love them combined on a pizza.
- 16 ounces prepared whole wheat pizza dough
- 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella
- 5 ounces goat cheese
- 1½ cups (about ½ pound) chopped strawberries, leafy ends removed and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chiffonade into short little strips
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.* Roll out your pizza dough into a 12 to 14-inch round on a floured surface. Top the pizza dough with the shredded mozzarella, big crumbles of goat cheese, and strawberries. Bake on a lightly oiled baking sheet (or on a pizza stone, if you have one) until the cheese is bubbling and golden and the crust is crisp underneath, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the balsamic reduction. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and honey. Gently simmer the mixture on medium-low heat until it is reduced in volume by half (this should take about 10 to 15 minutes) and set aside.
- Once the pizza is done baking, top it with a sprinkle of basil and freshly ground black pepper. Slice it and use a spoon to lightly drizzle balsamic vinegar on top, as shown in pictures. Serve!
- You'll end up with lots of extra balsamic reduction, which you can use in salad dressings, on crostini, yogurt, ice cream, tomatoes...
- The instructions for my pizza specified to bake at 350 degrees, which I know is low for pizzas. I went ahead and baked at 350 until the cheese was bubbling all over and the crust was crisp throughout and the strawberries were juicy and roasted and I don't think it could have turned out any better. If you want to crank up the heat and keep an eye on your pizza, though, go for it.
- If you don't like goat cheese... that is unfortunate. Just add extra mozzarella. Feta may also be good.
- This recipe is the pizza love child of my strawberry, basil and goat cheese panini and peach, basil and ricotta flatbread, so you might enjoy those, too.