Summertime and warm weather mean fresh produce. The summer harvest is filled with excellent treats to put on pizza, like fresh heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, squash flowers, asparagus, and more. And it’s not just tasty veggies that work well on pizza; you can also use fruit on pizza for a sweet take on a savory dish.
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Yes, that’s right, savory. You are probably familiar with fruit on dessert pizza. Dessert pizza is one of the most popular ways to use fruit on a pizza-shaped dessert. But fruit can also stand up to savory flavors too.
So in honor of summer starting and pizza lovers everywhere breaking out their grills to start grilling pizzas, we want to share how to use sweet fruit on a savory pizza.
What Fruits Are Best on Pizza
If you are new to the idea of fruit on pizza and are only familiar with pineapple on pizza, then you might be surprised to know that there are many other ways to use fruit on pizza. While we have discussed the great pineapple on pizza debate at length already, we want to focus on other fruits that add something extra to pizza.
The trick to putting fruit on pizza is to think about the texture and level of sweetness that particular fruits bring.
For example, mangoes are sweet, complementing a salty prosciutto or creamy ricotta cheese. Or sweet dried cranberries mixed with crushed walnuts would perform best on pizza with salty hard cheese like Parmesano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano.
There is no limit on how you can use fruit on pizza. If you stick to balancing flavor, texture, and sweet and salty components, you can mix and match your fruit to make the best summer pizza.
Best Fruits to Grill
Grilling fruits before placing them on pizza is another way to make the most of these sugary gems. When you place sugar-filled fruits on the grill, the sugar caramelizes, leaving a sweet, smoky flavor. Ideally, you want to grill firm fruits that can stand up to the grill.
For smaller fruits like berries, you will need to skewer them and place them on the grill that way. For bigger pieces of fruit, you can just lay them directly on the grill. (Note: Always clean your grill before grilling fruit, obviously.)
Some of the best fruits for grilling are:
In the case of stone fruits, you should remove the stone before grilling, and with melon, remove the seeds, but you should keep the peel intact.
They can place the cut side down and grill for anywhere from three to five minutes. Then flip them over and grill for another three to five minutes. Remove and let cool before adding them to your pizza.
How to Use Fruit on Pizza
We’ve written about one of our local pizzerias, Boludo, before. They have a delicious and unique peras (pear pizza) option on their menu that you should definitely try. Its toppings include pear, gorgonzola, pine nuts, and dill. A lot different than the stand pepperoni.
When we think of fruit on pizza, we immediately think of seasonal fruits as the best option. Knowing which fruits are best at which time of the year really comes down to where you live.
Here is a general list of fruits and the seasons they are best:
|Rhubarb, Mango, Pineapple||Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries||Apples, Figs, Cranberries, Grapes, Pears, Pomegranate||Oranges, Tangerines, Grapefruit, Mandarines, Lemons, Limes|
Of course, in major grocery stores, you can find all of these fruits year-round, but getting them fresh from the farmers market or your local pizza farms in season is always the best way to start.
We love the sweet-hot combination and like to pair fresh fruits with smoky chorizo, salty prosciutto, and hot peppers, all laid on top of a perfectly crispy crust is heaven to us.
Favorite Fruit on Pizza Combinations
And here are three of our absolute favorite fruit-inspired pizzas:
Strawberry Spinach Salad Pizza
This combination has all of the light sweetness of strawberries plus fresh earthy spinach and is like a salad on a pizza. Make a balsamic glaze to drizzle over the top, and you have just made a gourmet pizza worthy of all the stars. Don’t be afraid of a balsamic glaze.
All it is is balsamic vinegar that has been reduced by boiling it on the stove until it has the consistency of syrup. A little goes a long way, so a drizzle is enough to pack in tons of flavor.
Grilled Peaches and Blue Cheese with Walnuts
Simple but classy, this pizza makes a statement. We love to pull this out when grilling pizzas on a warm summer evening with friends. We like to use a simple white sauce rather than red.
And to be honest, we have even made this without sauce and just brushed it with olive oil and laid the slices of grilled peaches with crumbled blue cheese and crushed walnuts. A drizzle of hot sweet honey is a nice final touch to this tasty pizza.
Grilled Cantaloupe with Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella Pearls
The cantaloupe prosciutto combination was introduced to us when we were in Italy, where it is often served as an appetizer. They plate thinly sliced wedges of cantaloupe wrapped in salty pink prosciutto strips. So the fresh cantaloupe contrast makes a mouth water.
Some of Other Favorite Fruit on Pizza Combinations
- Strawberry, bacon, goat cheese, with balsamic reduction
- Grilled watermelon and cantaloupe with ricotta cheese, honey, and prosciutto
- Apple butter, bacon, and walnut
- Pesto, peaches, and goat cheese
- Thai chicken with mangoes and hot chilies
- Figs, prosciutto, and blue cheese
- Grilled cherries, caramelized onion, and Brie with red pepper flakes
- Fresh blackberries, ricotta, and basil leaves
- Slices of mandarin oranges, Canadian bacon, and slivered almonds
The use of fruit on pizza offers a delightful twist to the traditional savory dish, particularly during the summer season when fresh produce abounds. While the concept may be unconventional to some, the balance of flavors, textures, and the interplay of sweet and salty components make for a unique and satisfying culinary experience.
By carefully selecting fruits that complement the overall taste profile, such as the pairing of mangos with salty prosciutto or dried cranberries with hard cheese, the possibilities for creating delicious summer pizzas are endless.
Grilling the fruits before adding them to the pizza further enhances their natural sweetness and adds a smoky depth of flavor.
Whether it’s the classic toppings combination of strawberries and spinach, the elegant blend of grilled peaches with blue cheese and walnuts, or the tantalizing mix of grilled cantaloupe, prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella, the fusion of fruits and savory toppings on a crispy crust is sure to impress.
So, this summer, dare to explore the realm of fruit-topped pizzas and discover your own favorite combinations that celebrate the season’s bounty in every delicious bite.
Have you tried fruit on pizza? What is your favorite way to add fruit to pizza?