A Summer Pizza – Rosemary, Grapes, and Chevre

This pizza isn’t really a pizza. It’s more like an elegant, France-inspired summer appetizer that just happens to take the form and name of a pizza.  The stars of this pizza are surprising – pungent rosemary is mixed with fresh, juicy grapes and baked onto a flatbread with creamy goat cheese.  The result is top notch – warm, creamy, sweet, and earthy all at once.

When I decided to write about this pizza I was going to tell you a story about rosemary, a story about a dreamy day spent in Southern France climbing a hillside covered in wild rosemary to watch the sunset over the Mediterranean.  It’s a beautiful story, but I realized that it just doesn’t go with this pizza.  It’s a story for a different day.  So you’ll have to be content with the pizza for now and someday I’ll find the right words and the right flavors to convey that beautiful day in Cassis.

The story that does go with this pizza could be a number of things, and it could belong to anyone.  It’s a Saturday in the end of May, and dusk is just falling, filling the neighborhood with a purply-gray calm.  You’ve spent the day running around barefoot playing like you’re still 12, and the soles of your feet are black and rough.  The fact that it’s summer and it’s nighttime fills you with a childish, uninhibited energy.  You fire up the grill, throw this pizza together on top of naan, and in 10 minutes you have a cheesy and sweet grilled pizza that finishes the day perfectly.  Suddenly you are very tired and you fall contently into bed with the warm night breeze coming through the window.

Alternate version:  It’s a Saturday in the end of May, and you’re sitting on the porch swing watching the light grow yellower as the sun begins to set.  You drink a chilled glass of white wine and feel supremely light and at ease.  You go into the kitchen, turn on the oven, roll out some dough, and in ten minutes you have an elegantly flavored, light dinner that will go perfectly with your second glass of wine.  You return to the porch, and continue to sit and eat and drink and rest as the gentle evening breeze plays with the edges of your sundress and drifts through your hair.

Forgive my romanticism; it’s inescapable.  Go ahead and choose your own story.  But make this pizza.

Rosemary, Grape, and Chevre Pizza

Adapted slightly from Cookie via Epicurious

  • 1 recipe of pizza dough, or 2 pre-made naans
  • 2-3 cups of green grapes, washed and halved
  • 5-6 oz goat cheese
  • 2 TBS rosemary, chopped finely
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (if using dough).
  2. Mix grapes, 1 TBS olive oil, and rosemary together in a medium bowl.
  3. Roll out pizza dough.  Brush dough (or naans) with remaining tablespoon of oil.  Sprinkle kosher salt on top of oil.
  4. Top dough/naans with grape mixture.  Crumble goat cheese over grapes.
  5. If using dough, bake for 9-12 minutes, removing when edges of crust and goat cheese begin to brown.  If using naan, simply broil for 5 minutes.

(I make this pizza in the oven, but if you wish you can use naan or pre-baked your crusts, then top with grapes and cheese and place on grill for 5 minutes)

About these ads