This pizza gets its savory wings thanks to a fresh, green pesto and thinly sliced balsamic chicken that goes with summer’s best, sweet peaches and provolone to create a pizza that’s worth every bite.
With peaches at their peak, there’s plenty of ways to savor them besides smoothies (although this one is GRAND), my grandma’s peach and blackberry cobbler, and even as a balsamic-ed topping for grilled pork chops.
But one of my new favorite peach recipes comes from FoodieCrush contributor Hayley of the blog Seven Day Weekend. She sent me this recipe a year ago, and with seasonal peaches in their prime, it’s due time she shares it with you too. Take it away Hayley!
There are very few things I could eat every day without getting tired of them. Pizza is one of those foods, only I don’t eat it every day, because unfortunately I don’t have the resilient and forgiving metabolism of Chrissy Teigen (and her cookbook is great!).
For a long time now, my go-to pizza toppings have been pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers. But that’s comfy pizza—the kind you eat too many slices of, in your pajamas, on the couch, after a long day. Or even more likely, after a long night.
When I want fancy pizza though, I always welcome deviations. I try to embrace what’s in season. Sometimes it’s a white pie with bacon, potatoes, Swiss chard, and rosemary in the fall, or garlicky, lemony roasted broccoli with Italian sausage and goat cheese in the winter.
But one of my favorite slices is a summery one, inspired by a pizza I had several years ago at a cute little café in Raleigh, N.C., called Zest.
It featured pesto, balsamic-marinated grilled chicken, provolone cheese, peaches, and a sprinkling of parmesan for good measure. It’s so good you stop in between bites and close your eyes every couple of minutes.
The flavor profile may seem a bit odd, but I swear it works. Savory balsamic chicken, and slightly funky aged provolone sit against a zippy pesto backdrop and are the perfect complements to those sweet and juicy farmers’ market peaches. And seriously, if you’ve never tried pesto and peaches together, you’ve been missing out and are in for a treat!
But these stone fruit beauties won’t be around for too much longer, so enjoy them while you can—preferably on this fancy pizza, which you can even eat too many slices of, in your pajamas, on the couch, after a long day.
About the Recipe
And now, back to Heidi…
When Hayley gave me this recipe last year, she included a delicious looking recipe for a simple, homemade pizza dough made with a bit of whole wheat flour added in. I’ve included it in the recipe below, but if you aren’t into making your dough or simply don’t have the time, you can often pick it up at your grocery store deli counter, or use my favorite, foolproof DeLallo pizza dough kit.
Being the ambitious cook Hayley is, she also makes her own pesto. You could certainly follow her lead, or purchase a good quality store-bought brand (I like Kroger’s Private Selection Basil Pesto or DeLallo’s Basil Pesto).
In this recipe, Hayley provides the recipe for the balsamic chicken, that makes enough for two breasts, but you’ll likely only need one. All the better for meal planning, save the other one for lunch the next day. I reserved some of the marinade (never re-use chicken marinade!) to drizzle on my pizza and oh my word! It could have been the cherry on the sundae.
For herbs in this recipe and to top the pizza, I used a combination of rosemary, basil and thyme, not because you need them all, but simply because I have a bounty of them in my garden. Use one, two or more depending on your taste.
And peaches. Fresh, perfectly ripe and not too soft peaches are key to a perfectly peachy pizza.
If you have a pizza stone, use it! Sadly, the other night mine broke after making calzones so I used this non-stick pizza platter instead. It worked fine, but the bottom crust just wasn’t quite as crisp.
Pesto Pizza with Balsamic Chicken and Peaches
- 2 chicken breasts
- ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar either light or dark, or honey
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary basil, or thyme, minced, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 peaches peeled, pitted and sliced
- 8 slices provolone cheese or about 1 cup of shredded provolone
- 1 cup pesto sauce store bought or recipe below
- Pizza dough store bought or recipe below
For the Balsamic Chicken
Trim the chicken of any extra fat and place in a zip lock bag or shallow bowl. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl and pour the marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate for an hour or up to overnight. Heat a skillet over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning every few minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and rest.
To Assemble the Pizza
Heat the oven to 475 degrees. Spread out the pizza dough into a circle and place on a pizza stone or peel. Brush the edges of the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Spread the pesto thinly and evenly over the pizza dough and top with the provolone slices. Thinly slice the balsamic chicken and place over the pesto, and top with the peaches.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until pizza is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Slice the pizza then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and herbs and serve.
Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup bread flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
Combine the water, yeast and honey in a measuring cup, stir, and let the mixture sit for about five minutes (or until there are a lot of bubbles).
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon (you may need to add a little more flour or warm water to the dough to achieve the right consistency - not too dry, and not too sticky, it should be pliable.
In a different large bowl, drizzle olive oil around the bowl, and place the dough in it, turning the dough until its been covered in olive oil. Place a kitchen towel (preferably damp) over the bowl, and store in the warmest part of your house. Let it rise for about an hour (if you want a thicker dough, let it rise for about two hours).
Basil Pesto Recipe
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves blanched and then shocked in cold water, for better taste and color
- ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts toast in a skillet on medium-low heat, shaking the pan every so often, until pine nuts are golden brown — be careful not to burn!
- ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Combine basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped. With the food processor still running, gradually add the olive oil until the pesto is thick and smooth.
Written by FoodieCrush contributor Hayley Putnam of Seven Day Weekend. Follow her foodie tastes and other flights of fancy on Pinterest and Instagram.
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