I bet summer is the #1 favorite season for most people. After all it’s associated with enjoyable things like 3 month long school breaks, family vacations, and pool parties. For the food obsessed, summertime is when stone fruits, summer berries, and tomatoes are in season and at their peak of flavor. One of my favorite things about the Pacific Northwest, is the close proximity to produce farms and orchards. Which means…summer berry picking! So two weeks ago I went out to a U-pick strawberry farm and not to sound like a snob, but I don’t think I’ll be going back to the store bought ones.
So what makes a fresh picked strawberry so much better than its grocery store brethren? For starters, they don’t have that thick white-green ring around the leaf top, which is one indicator that it’ll be sour and unripe. (Note: It’s ok for a berry to have a bit of white directly underneath the leaves.) Fully mature and ripe berries will have a mostly solid, ruby red coloring all throughout. This translates into amazingly sweet and juicy fruit! But I get it, it’s not like we all live next to farmers markets or have backyard gardens. After all I grew up in Ohio, surrounded by corn and soybeans fields. It’s not exactly a cornucopia of produce like California is.
Another thing that I learned from my trip is how raspberries get their hollow centers. Obviously I could’ve Googled this, but it’s not something that normally comes to mind when I shop for groceries. So the same strawberry farm also grows raspberries for self-picking. There I learned the secret behind it. For starters, they look like your typical berry when still attached to the stem. However, when you pull on them, the outer fruit shell slides off, leaving behind the core and you with a hollow berry! Mind blown.
Now that summer is here, no one wants to be slaving away in a hot kitchen. When you can be out frolicking through berry fields or grilling with friends. It’s why I love summer recipes as they’re little to no fuss. But incredibly flavorful by taking advantage of seasonal fruit or veg like this grilled pizza does.
Quick intro, this pizza is basically a caprese salad on top of grilled pizza dough. It’s an easy recipe as you only need to make the dough. Heck, you can even skip that step and just buy pre-made dough! I used a variety of heirloom tomatoes to achieve that beautiful rainbow effect, but they also added an amazing depth of flavor and sweetness. So fire up that grill, grab a drink and a few friends to enjoy this pizza party with!
Grilled Heirloom Tomato Pizza
Adapted from Epicurious and Serious Eats
Makes 1 large pizza (12-14 inch)
Inspired by Bon Appetit