Invite friends over, scoop up some superfresh ingredients, and throw an easy pie party.
May 15, 2012
1 of 18Photo: Johnny Autry
The Best Fresh Summer Pizzas
Our recipe for summer entertaining at its best: Invite friends over, scoop up some superfresh ingredients, and throw an easy pizza pie party. Making two different pies for your party means more fun, so select a contrasting pair to keep it interesting. Decide whether you want your pizza saucy, flatbread-like, or creamy; you'll find each type here.
When preparing our first recipe, if you're not in the mood to light up the outdoor grill, cook the vegetables in a grill pan.
2 of 18Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Look for mild Sweety Drop peppers at specialty stores, or use chopped pickled sweet cherry peppers instead. A baking steel works great here if you preheat it for an hour.
Red tomatoes are richer in antioxidants when cooked, giving you better access to lycopene (a disease-fighting antioxidant). The higher-quality ricotta you use, the creamier, and more delicious the pizza; we prefer Calabro brand.
This rich and hearty pizza is inspired by Tastebud, a food stand at the Portland Farmers' Market. They use a mobile wood-burning oven to make the most creative pizza slices in the region. A leggy cousin of broccoli, the delicate purple florets and thin stems of purple sprouting broccoli make an ideal topping for grilled pizza.
6 of 18Photo: Johnny Autry
Three-Cheese White Pizza with Spinach
The higher quality the ricotta cheese, the creamier and more delicious the pizza; we prefer Calabro brand.
7 of 18Photo: Johnny Autry
Fresh Tomato-Feta Pizza
If olives are a deal breaker, leave them off; the pizza is still yummy.
8 of 18Photo: Johnny Autry
For 30 more calories and 1 more gram of sat fat, you can use pepperoni in place of prosciutto.
9 of 18Photo: Johnny Autry
Local Farmers' Market Pizza
Allowing the dough to come to room temperature will ease the rolling-out process. We love the combo used here, but feel free to play with other veggies.
10 of 18Photo: Romulo Yanes
Veggie Grilled Pizza
A sprinkling of bright, sweet mint complements the smoky grilled vegetables in this dish.
11 of 18Photo: Iain Bagwell
Peach and Gorgonzola Chicken Pizza
Ditch the tomato sauce and give pizza a makeover by topping with fresh peach slices and two types of cheese. A drizzle of tangy balsamic reduction provides the perfect balance to the sweet summer fruit.
12 of 18Photo: Johnny Autry
BBQ Chicken and Blue Cheese Pizza
For a kid-friendly pie, substitute fresh mozzarella for the blue cheese. This savory pie will be a hit.
13 of 18Photo: Johnny Autry
Summer Veggie Pizza
This pizza isn't just delicious—it's budget-friendly too! At just $2.49 per serving, your wallet (and your family) will thank you. If you have dough left over, freeze it; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before use.
14 of 18Photo: Anna Williams
Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Lemon
Grilled flatbreads are a delicious base for a light, summery salad. The dough develops a yeastier, more complex flavor from a 24-hour resting period in the refrigerator. You can also use store-bought dough and begin with step 3 in the directions.
15 of 18Photo: Johnny Autry
Cobb Salad Pizza
Add quick-cooking chicken cutlets and refrigerated pizza dough to a mix of fresh vegetables for a light and lovely superfast meal.
16 of 18Photo: Johnny Autry
Bacon, Tomato, and Arugula Pizza
Instead of having an arugula salad on the side, put it on top of your pizza for fresh flavor that pairs perfectly with the tomato and applewood-smoked bacon pizza toppings.
17 of 18Photo: Johnny Miller
BLT Pizza with White Sauce
All the components of America's favorite summer sandwich are here—even the mayonnaise. Yes, it turns out adding some oil to the mayo makes a creamy sauce that fully covers the pie and gives a richer taste to the pizza.
18 of 18Photo: Randy Mayor
Caramelized Onion and Olive Pizza with Goat Cheese
Sweet caramelized onions form a creamy pizza “sauce.” Intense spices make chicken kicken’. Peppery arugula dressed with lemon vinaigrette complements this rich pizza. Toss 4 cups arugula, 1 cup rinsed and drained unsalted canned chickpeas, and 1 shaved carrot with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1½ tablespoons lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.