Strawberries are in season in the South right now, and my local farmer’s market is full of them. I’ve been on a canning spree, but I couldn’t help thinking of new ways I could enjoy strawberries RIGHT NOW.
What about a roasted strawberry pizza? I thought. It would need a crust with a strong savoury depth of flavor. And it would need salt and richness to balance the sweet berries. And something fresh and green to keep it firmly rooted in spring.
And thus the Roasted Strawberry and Caramelized Onions Pizza was born.
The New York style pizza crust holds up perfectly to the cumulative weight of the toppings. You can shortcut it with a store-bought dough in a pinch, just look for one with some substance. Mixing dried basil, oregano, fenugreek, and garlic powder into the dough ensures that every bite makes your taste buds smile.
For the sauce, I adapted my favorite roasted strawberries recipe, food writer Heidi Swanson’s magical boozy concoction enriched with maple syrup and wine. I don’t stock the port that her original recipe calls for, but my trusty Malbec stands in just fine.
Once you stretch or roll out out the dough, prick it with a fork and then par bake it before topping to ensure an even bake.
Brushing the juice from the roasted strawberries along the crust of the par baked dough when you layer on the strawberries takes this pizza over the top in deliciousness. And if you end up with some leftover strawberries after you make the pizza? Think ice cream topping. Oh yeah. You’re welcome. 😉
Spread a layer of caramelized onions over the roasted strawberries, followed by sliced brie. Sprinkle feta in the gaps. The onions add a complimentary complexity to the sweetness of the strawberries, and the cheeses round out all the sweetness with salty, creamy richness.
While the pizza is in the oven, go ahead and chop up some Swiss chard for the final touch. When you remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle the Swiss chard over the top immediately. The heat from the pizza will wilt it just slightly. Perfection.
That’s it! It’s a pizza that requires some prep time, but if you make the roasted strawberries one to two days beforehand when you prep the dough, then on the day you actually make the pizza, you’ll find it comes together quickly.
And trust me, this meal? It’s worth every second.
Roasted Strawberry and Caramelized Onion Pizza
Strawberries, caramelized onions, creamy brie, crumbled feta, and fresh Swiss chard meld together to create this sweet and savory roasted strawberry pizza.
Special seasonings for pizza crust
Savoury pizza crust
THE NIGHT BEFORE: Prepare a batch of the New York Style Pizza dough through the cold rise. If you don't want to use or par bake all the crusts at once, you can freeze the extra portions of dough after the cold rise stage. Just make sure there's no extra air in the bag before freezing it, and bring the dough back down to room temperature before using it.
If you are using a store-bought dough, skip to step three (adding the herbs and spices).
Remove 1/4 of the dough (enough for one pizza) from the refrigerator.
Knead in 1 tsp. dried basil, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1/2 tsp. fenugreek, and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest while you prepare the other ingredients - about an hour.
Position one of the racks in the oven in the bottom third and make sure it has a good five inches or more of clearance. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cover a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper to make clean-up easier.
Hull 8 oz. strawberries and slice in half lengthwise. Slice larger strawberries in quarters.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and a pinch of kosher salt.
Pour syrup mixture over sliced strawberries and gently stir to coat. Arrange strawberries in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes or until berries have shrunken and darkened, and juices have thickened, but not burned. Set a timer and watch them closely towards the end!
When strawberries are done, remove the tray from the oven and transfer strawberries to a small bowl. Stir in 1 Tbsp. Malbec and 1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar. Allow to cool.
Make the pizza
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven on the bottom rack.
Heat 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add sliced onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are somewhat translucent and browned on the edges, about 5 minutes.
Roll or use your hands to stretch the seasoned pizza dough into a large, thin circle about 1/4” thick. Transfer dough to a pizza screen and place in oven. Par bake for 2 minutes and then remove from oven.
Leave the crust on the pizza screen while you add toppings. Be careful! The screen will be hot.
Spread a thick layer of roasted strawberries over the crust. Brush some of the juice around the edges.
Next spread a thick layer of the caramelized onions over the roasted strawberries.
Layer the slices of brie over the onions, spaced about 1/4" to 1/2" apart.
Sprinkle crumbled feta into the spaces between the brie.
Bake pizza for around 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling and crust is golden brown.
Remove pizza from oven and top with chopped Swiss chard. Allow pizza to cool a few minutes before you cut into it.