Summer Pizza Recipe

Delight in the flavors of summer with this fresh and vibrant Summer Pizza. This recipe beautifully marries the sweetness of ripe tomatoes with the creaminess of fresh mozzarella, the sharpness of red onion, and the aromatic touch of basil all atop a crisp pizza shell. It's a perfect dish to share with friends and family on a warm summer evening.

Summer Pizza Recipe

All of the ingredients in this recipe are commonly found in most supermarkets. The fresh mozzarella, which is softer and more moist than its block counterpart, can usually be found in the deli section. The pizza shells, or pre-made pizza crusts, are typically located in the bakery or frozen food section of the store. Lastly, for the best flavor, try to find vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

Ingredients for the Vibrant Summer Pizza

Tomatoes: These are the heart of the dish, providing a fresh and tangy flavor. Choose ripe, firm, and brightly colored ones for the best taste.

Salt: Used to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients and drain excess moisture from the tomatoes.

Red Onion: Adds a sharp and slightly sweet flavor to the pizza.

Mozzarella: Fresh mozzarella provides a creamy, smooth counterpoint to the tangy tomatoes.

Basil: Fresh basil leaves give an aromatic touch to the pizza.

Black Pepper: Adds a little kick to the dish.

Pizza Shells: Serve as the base of the pizza. Choose your favorite brand or make your own.

Parmesan: This hard, granular cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor.

Olive Oil: Used to drizzle over the pizza before baking, adding a rich flavor.

One reader, Hilda Banuelos says:

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This summer pizza recipe is a game-changer! The fresh tomatoes and basil create a burst of flavor, and the melted mozzarella adds the perfect touch. It's so easy to make and perfect for a summer gathering. I love how versatile it is – I can even grill it for an extra smoky flavor. Highly recommend!

Hilda Banuelos

Techniques Required for Making Summer Pizza

How to prepare the tomatoes: Drain the tomatoes in a strainer and toss with salt, then let them sit for 15 minutes to release excess moisture.

How to grill the pizza: Brush the pizza shells with oil, place them oiled-side down on the grill, cook until warm, then flip the shells, top with ingredients, and cook until the cheese melts.

How to pair with wine: Bardolino and Valpolicella are recommended to complement the fresh tomatoey pizza and warm summer days. These sprightly reds from Italy's Veneto, based on the corvina grape, offer a delightful pairing.

How To Make Summer Pizza

Use the freshest tomatoes and basil you can find for this vibrant summer pizza. Top with fresh mozzarella to impart some luscious creaminess too.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 4tomatoes,(about 2 lbs)
  • 1tspsalt
  • 1smallred onion
  • 10ozfresh mozzarella
  • 6tbspfresh basil,chopped
  • ¼tspfresh ground black pepper
  • 2pizza shells,(12-inch), store bought
  • ½cupparmesan,grated
  • 2tbspolive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  2. Put the tomatoes in a strainer set over a medium bowl.

  3. Toss with the salt and let drain for 15 minutes.

  4. In a medium bowl, combine the drained tomatoes with the onion, mozzarella, basil and pepper.

  5. Top each pizza shell with half of the tomato mixture.

  6. Sprinkle the pizzas with the Parmesan and drizzle with the oil.

  7. Bake directly on the oven rack for about 8 minutes, until the cheese just melts.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 809.27kcal
  • Fat: 33.29g
  • Saturated Fat: 14.72g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 12.32g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.70g
  • Carbohydrates: 88.79g
  • Fiber: 6.20g
  • Sugar: 6.20g
  • Protein: 37.86g
  • Cholesterol: 68.63mg
  • Sodium: 1688.13mg
  • Calcium: 727.03mg
  • Potassium: 578.23mg
  • Iron: 5.72mg
  • Vitamin A: 227.54µg
  • Vitamin C: 18.86mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Summer Pizza Success

When preparing your summer pizza, it's important to properly drain your tomatoes. This step removes excess moisture that could make your pizza soggy. To ensure they're well-drained, after tossing them with salt, you can gently press them with a spoon or spatula to squeeze out more juice. This will result in a crispier and more flavorful pizza.

Time-Saving Tips for Summer Pizza Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all the ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use store-bought: Save time by using pre-made pizza shells and pre-shredded cheese.

Multi-task: While the tomatoes are draining, prepare the other ingredients to make the most of your time in the kitchen.

Grill option: Consider grilling the pizza for a quicker cooking time and added smoky flavor.

One-pan meal: Consider adding other ingredients like grilled chicken or vegetables to turn this into a complete meal in one go.

Substitute Ingredients For Summer Pizza Recipe

  • tomatoes – Substitute with heirloom tomatoes: Heirloom tomatoes have a similar texture and juiciness to regular tomatoes but offer a wider range of flavors and colors, adding a unique twist to the pizza.
  • salt – Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can provide a more complex and briny flavor compared to regular table salt, enhancing the overall taste of the pizza.
  • red onion – Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to red onions, adding a subtle and delicate taste to the pizza.
  • fresh mozzarella – Substitute with burrata: Burrata has a creamy texture and a rich, indulgent flavor that can elevate the pizza with its luxurious taste and mouthfeel.
  • fresh basil – Substitute with mint: Mint can add a refreshing and aromatic twist to the pizza, complementing the other flavors with its bright and herbaceous notes.
  • fresh ground black pepper – Substitute with crushed red pepper flakes: Red pepper flakes can provide a spicy kick and a hint of smokiness, adding depth and heat to the pizza.
  • pizza shells – Substitute with naan bread: Naan bread can serve as a flavorful and convenient alternative to traditional pizza crust, offering a soft and pillowy base for the toppings.
  • parmesan – Substitute with pecorino: Pecorino cheese has a sharper and saltier flavor compared to parmesan, contributing a robust and savory taste to the pizza.
  • olive oil – Substitute with garlic-infused olive oil: Garlic-infused olive oil can infuse the pizza with a subtle garlic flavor, enhancing the overall aroma and taste of the dish.

Presenting Your Summer Pizza Creation

  1. Elevate the pizza crust: Create a thin, crispy crust that adds a delightful crunch to each bite, enhancing the overall texture of the pizza.

  2. Artfully arrange the toppings: Carefully place the sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in an aesthetically pleasing manner, ensuring that each slice of pizza is visually appealing.

  3. Garnish with fresh basil: Add a final touch of vibrant, aromatic basil leaves to the pizza just before serving, enhancing the visual appeal and providing a burst of fresh flavor.

  4. Drizzle with premium olive oil: Use a high-quality, flavorful olive oil to drizzle over the pizza, adding a luxurious sheen and a hint of richness to the dish.

  5. Serve on elegant plating: Present the pizza on sophisticated, artisanal serving platters or boards, elevating the dining experience and showcasing the culinary artistry of the dish.

  6. Accompany with wine pairing: Pair the pizza with a carefully selected Bardolino or Valpolicella wine to complement the flavors and elevate the overall dining experience.

Essential Tools for Making Summer Pizza

  • Oven: An essential appliance for baking and roasting, the oven provides consistent heat for cooking a wide variety of dishes.

  • Strainer: This kitchen tool is used to separate liquids from solids, making it perfect for draining and rinsing ingredients.

  • Medium bowl: A versatile kitchen essential for mixing, marinating, and storing ingredients.

  • Grill: Ideal for outdoor cooking, grills are great for adding a smoky flavor to pizzas and other dishes.

  • Brush: A kitchen utensil used for applying oil or sauces to food, ensuring even coverage during grilling or baking.

Storing and Freezing Summer Pizza for Later

  • If you have any leftover pizza, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the pizza on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 10 minutes, or until heated through.

  • For longer storage, you can freeze the pizza. First, let the pizza cool completely to room temperature. Then, wrap the pizza tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Label the package with the date and contents, and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.

  • To reheat frozen pizza, remove it from the packaging and place it on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Keep an eye on the pizza to ensure that the crust doesn't burn.

  • If you want to freeze individual slices for quick and easy meals, follow the same wrapping and freezing instructions as above, but wrap each slice separately. This way, you can easily reheat just the number of slices you need without having to thaw the entire pizza.

  • When storing or freezing the summer pizza, make sure that it's completely cooled before wrapping it up. This will help prevent condensation from forming, which can make the crust soggy and affect the overall texture of the pizza.

How To Reheat Leftover Summer Pizza

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover pizza slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy. This method helps to restore the crispiness of the crust while evenly heating the toppings.

  • For a quicker option, use a skillet on the stovetop. Heat the skillet over medium heat and place the pizza slices in the pan. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is crispy. This method helps to create a crispy crust while melting the cheese and heating the toppings.

  • If you have a toaster oven, you can easily reheat your leftover summer pizza. Place the slices on the toaster oven tray and heat at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy. This method is perfect for reheating small portions and helps to maintain the texture of the pizza.

  • For a unique twist, try reheating your leftover pizza on the grill. Preheat your grill to medium heat and place the pizza slices directly on the grates. Close the lid and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy. This method adds a smoky flavor to the pizza and is perfect for summer gatherings.

  • If you want to maintain the softness of the crust, you can reheat your leftover pizza in the microwave. Place the slices on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the cheese is melted and the pizza is heated through. To prevent the crust from becoming soggy, place a glass of water in the microwave alongside the pizza to help absorb excess moisture.

Interesting Fact About Summer Pizza

Summer pizza recipe is a delicious and refreshing dish perfect for warm weather. This recipe features fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, making it a light and flavorful option for a summer meal. Whether baked in the oven or grilled, this pizza is a delightful choice for a seasonal gathering. Additionally, pairing it with a Bardolino or Valpolicella wine can enhance the dining experience, as these wines complement the fresh tomato flavors. With its simple yet vibrant ingredients, this summer pizza recipe is a delightful addition to any warm-weather menu.

Is Making Summer Pizza at Home Cost-Effective?

This summer pizza recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, are commonly found and reasonably priced. The recipe's simplicity and use of basic ingredients make it a budget-friendly option. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $15-$20. Overall Verdict: 9.

Is Summer Pizza Healthy or Unhealthy?

The summer pizza recipe is a healthier alternative to traditional pizza, thanks to its fresh ingredients and minimal cooking time. The use of fresh tomatoes, onions, and basil provides a good source of vitamins and antioxidants. The fresh mozzarella adds calcium and protein, while the olive oil contributes healthy monounsaturated fats. However, the recipe still includes a significant amount of cheese and relies on pre-made pizza shells, which may contain added preservatives and refined carbohydrates.

To make this recipe even healthier:

  • Opt for whole wheat or cauliflower pizza crusts to increase fiber content and reduce refined carbohydrates
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used or choose a lower-fat variety to decrease saturated fat and calories
  • Add more vegetables, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach, to boost the nutrient content and fiber
  • Use a homemade tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes to better control the sodium content
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices, like oregano or red pepper flakes, to enhance flavor without relying on excessive cheese or oil

Editor's Take on This Summer Pizza Recipe

This summer pizza recipe is a delightful combination of fresh, vibrant flavors. The use of ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant basil creates a light and refreshing topping for the pizza shells. The addition of grilled red onion adds a subtle sweetness, while the parmesan and olive oil contribute depth and richness. The option to grill the pizza shells adds a smoky dimension to the dish, enhancing the overall sensory experience. This recipe is perfect for warm weather gatherings and pairs beautifully with a Bardolino or Valpolicella wine. It's a wonderful way to celebrate the flavors of summer in a simple yet elegant dish.

Why trust this Summer Pizza Recipe:

This summer pizza recipe is a celebration of seasonal flavors, featuring fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. The method of draining the tomatoes with salt enhances their natural sweetness, while the addition of parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil adds depth and richness. The option to grill the pizza adds a delightful smoky char. With a wine recommendation that complements the dish, this recipe exudes authenticity and expertise, instilling confidence in its delicious outcome. Trust in the harmony of these fresh ingredients and the expertly crafted instructions for a delightful summer meal.

Share your thoughts on the Summer Pizza Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make this delicious dish even better!
FAQ:
Can I use different types of cheese for this pizza?
Yes, you can definitely experiment with different types of cheese for this pizza. Try using a combination of cheeses like fontina, gouda, or even a sprinkle of blue cheese for a unique flavor.
Can I use dried basil instead of fresh basil?
While fresh basil is recommended for its vibrant flavor, you can use dried basil if that’s what you have on hand. Just use a smaller amount of dried basil, as it has a more concentrated flavor compared to fresh basil.
Can I make the pizza dough from scratch instead of using pizza shells?
Absolutely! Making your own pizza dough from scratch can take this recipe to the next level. There are many great pizza dough recipes available online, or you can use your favorite homemade dough recipe.
Can I add other toppings to the pizza?
Of course! Feel free to get creative with additional toppings like grilled vegetables, prosciutto, arugula, or even a drizzle of balsamic glaze for extra flavor and texture.
Can I make this pizza ahead of time?
While this pizza is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the toppings ahead of time and assemble the pizza just before baking. This way, you can save time without compromising on the delicious flavors.

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