Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Peach + Tarragon Pesto Pizza

Recently, my sister-in-law and I were brainstorming pizza ideas for a party over at the in-laws' house. "Smoked mozzarella and roasted tomatoes," I said. "Zucchini and goat cheese," she countered. Then she exclaimed, "Peach and tarragon pesto!" "What? That sounds awesome," I said. I have to say it turned out to be my favorite peach dish of the entire summer.

Peach + Tarragon Pesto Pizza

1 ball of olive-oil pizza dough (recipe follows)
1/2 cup tarragon pesto (recipe follows)
4-5 ripe peaches (peeled, pitted, and sliced into half moons, about 2 cups)
3 ounces soft goat cheese (crumbled)
salt and pepper
manchego cheese (to garnish)

Preheat your oven (with the pizza stone in place) to 550 degrees. Stretch, toss, or roll out your dough to about a 10-inch circle. Place a small amount of flour on your pizza peel, place the dough round on the peel, and slide it into the oven. Allow it to cook for about 2 minutes.

Pull the dough out of the oven and top it first with the pesto, then the peach slices, and finally the soft goat cheese. Slide the pizza back onto the stone for another 5-7 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little grated manchego cheese.

Olive Oil Pizza Crust (makes two 10-inch crusts):

1 cup bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
1/8 cup olive oil
about 8-10 ounces of warm water

The flour, salt, and yeast go into the food processor with the dough blade attached. With the food processor running, pour the olive oil in and then slowly add enough water to bring the mixture together into a ball; you will see it right away when this happens. Roll the dough into a ball and cut in half. Roll each half into a ball and set it on a plate covered by a large bowl to rise for an hour or so.

Tarragon Pesto

This recipe will make more than you need, so feel free to cut it in half or make the whole thing. It's great on sandwiches, or thinned out and used as a salad dressing, or as a dip for some crunchy vegetables.

1 cup zucchini (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup tarragon (about 5 stems)
zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Put zucchini, garlic, walnuts, tarragon, lemon, black pepper, and salt into the food processor, and whir it up until it has a smooth texture. Next, drizzle the olive oil into the food processor while it's running; this emulsifies everything and makes it thick. Set pesto aside until ready to use.


  1. Will make this tomorrow...will follow your recipe but can't use walnuts cause I want Amelia to eat some...any suggestions? Lindsey

  2. During a major snowstorm, I made this pizza and pretended it was summer :). I had to use frozen peaches that I defrosted and sliced thinner and I was surprised that they turned out just fine in the pizza. Actually, more than just fine--that pizza is ridiculously good and will be a hit at any pizza party!

    I also confess I used sunflower seeds because of nut allergies in the fam. They were a good substitute and I would use them again. They gave a richness but didn't mess with the overall taste of the pesto. The tarragon is definitely the highlight flavor and the lemon zest helps it shine.

    Ok, so to the recipe. I found a typo in the last paragraph--whir should be whirl? Maybe so, maybe not. I was not sure. Maybe it is a Southern thang :)

    The dough recipe was simple to follow and easy to make. It yielded dough that was so easy to roll out (I almost did it totally by hand) and easy to get a thin crust like I prefer.

    I 1/2ed the pesto and it made enough for a big pizza. It was thick and creamy and spicy with garlic before cooking, but mellowed to the right level of spice for me after cooking into the pizza.

    One suggestion I have about the way the recipe reads: I kept on scrolling up to see the steps to making the pizza after I made the dough and pesto...I think it might make more sense to the reader if you ordered the recipe so that the Dough and pesto recipe was first and then the paragraphs that start with Preheat and Pull were last. That way when I finish prepping the pesto and dough, the recipe of how to put it all together follows nicely.

    I added some fresh arugula on top post cooling, about 1/2 cup, to add some more green and crunch and it tasted great and looked pretty too. I like eating my salad on top of my pizza. You could add that as an option.

    Thanks for giving me the pleasure of testing this one! Glad to see it is going in the book.