Have you ever had something so delicious that it haunts you?..............
This Strawberry Balsamic Pizza definitely has the capabilities of causing that problem! As a matter of fact, in the words of Annie from Annie's Eats (a delightful blog - if you haven't checked it out, you need to!), after enjoying it last summer "...we dreamed about this pizza all through the fall and winter months." It's honestly, that good!
I created and posted this yummy pizza recipe last summer, but I'm re-posting it today for several reasons:
- It's the peak of local strawberry season here in southeastern US, while just the beginning in other parts of the country and this recipe captures the beauty and deliciousness of fresh, local berries like none other!
- It's been, by far, the most popular recipe on The Café.
- I created and posted this recipe in my early blogging days and there are so many new readers who may have missed this spectacular pizza.
- You need a good quality strawberry jam for this pizza. If you haven't tried this fabulous Strawberry Freezer Jam, RUN out, pick up some strawberries and put this together - in less than an hour, you'll have a row of jars sitting on your counter with the best jam you'll ever taste! It's the perfect reason to make jam and you'll be thanking yourself till the cows come home!
You can read more about the humble origins of my Strawberry Balsamic Pizza here. I never dreamed it would be so well received. You wouldn't think that something with such a crazy combination of ingredients could be so delicious! Go ahead, be brave and give it a try - I'll be holding your hand (at least virtually) - and you'll be so happy you did .............. but don't say I didn't warn you about the "haunting" part later this year when fabulous, seasonal strawberries are just a lingering scarlet memory!
½ cup good quality strawberry jam or preserves, I use The Cafe's Strawberry Freezer Jam or the Strawberry-Pineapple Freezer Jam from this site - use your favorite
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Sriracha Chili Sauce
1 ball pizza dough, your favorite, this recipe or a purchased ball of dough*
1 cup diced or shredded chicken breast, from rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken of any kind
½ cup applewood smoked bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces, cooked and drained
½ cup thin sliced sweet onion
12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh strawberries, diced small
1. Place pizza stone or sheet pan on middle rack of oven. Preheat oven to 450˚F.
2. Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until reduced to half of the original volume and mixture is thick and syrupy. Add strawberry jam and Sriracha and mix well. Set aside to cool.
3. Pat or roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to approximately a 14" circle. Shape does not have to be perfect, this is a rustic pizza. Place a piece of parchment paper, slightly larger than your dough on a pizza peel or an upside down sheet pan. (The parchment paper will make your transfer of the pizza to the oven infinitely easier!) Sprinkle parchment paper lightly with cornmeal. Fold dough in quarters and place on parchment paper, then unfold.
4. Combine chicken with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic-strawberry mixture and mix to coat all chicken with sauce. Pour rest of sauce onto pizza dough and spread to cover. Leave a 1" border all around the edge. Scatter chicken evenly over the sauce.
5. Place about 3/4 of the cheese on top of dough and spread to cover sauce evenly. Scatter bacon and sweet onion over cheese to distribute evenly. Scatter remaining cheese over this layer.
6. Slide parchment paper with pizza on top onto stone or cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Watch carefully, at this temperature it's easy to burn the pizza!
7. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and fresh diced strawberries. Serve and enjoy!
*You can purchase pizza dough from Whole Foods, Trader Jo's and many other grocery stores. Often pizzerias will sell a ball of their own dough for a very reasonable price.