Welcome back to my summer recipe series!
There was no way I could do a series featuring the best of summer produce without strawberries. I went through dozen of recipe options, most of them in the dessert category, but after making my upside down cake earlier this spring, I decided to go for the challenge of a savory dish.
Now, let me be honest here. Things are bit hectic in my world at the moment. I’m back home from vacation and in between work, gym, writing, and school, my time is pretty limited. I had plans to take this recipe one step further by using a cauliflower crust, a challenge I’ve been dying to sink my teeth into since I wrote my cauliflower post earlier this year, but I needed to face facts that I couldn’t get it all done.
Even in summer, life can be crazy busy. Sigh.
This doesn’t mean that making a healthy and tasty meal in less than time then it takes to catch up on your email, is completely impossible. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. So, no excuses for me or for you!
My compromise comes in the form of one of my favorite quick go-to meals that allows me to be creative and practical all at once. It’s pizza time!
Not a terrible compromise if you ask me. ;-)
I really love experimenting with pizza toppings to see what works and what doesn’t. Also, it’s a great way to utilize any extra vegetables (or fruit!) you have stocked up.
You can purchase pre-made dough pretty much anywhere these, days, instead of making your own. I decided to use the whole wheat dough I already had in my fridge, and build my own pizza creation with strawberries, goat cheese, caramelized onion, and….kale. Yes, kale. Why not?
This recipe is really just one version of many versions, but I strongly encourage you to have some fun with this and adapt with whatever ingredients strikes your fancy. Prefer arugula to kale? Go for it. Like brie instead of goat cheese? Go nuts. There are no rules here. Just don’t burn it. And share. Always share.
Onto the science!
- Vitamin C. This super-vitamin seems to be a major player this week in the produce I’ve featured this week, only strawberries really outshine all the rest. One serving of strawberries (about 1 cup) yields…wait for it… 141% of your DV!!! Get all of the antioxidant and collagen building benefits with one serving and you’re set.
-Anti-Aging Properties. Strawberries are a good source of biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails, while also improving your skin. Research suggests strawberries may also help reduce wrinkles due to the presence of the antioxidants that protect the elasticity in skin.
-Heart Health. A recent Harvard study suggests that strawberries may significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease due to the presence of the anthocyanin.
- Whiter Teeth. Strawberries are high in polyphenols which helps reduce the amount of plaque that develops on teeth from sugary foods, and fights the bacteria that contributes to gum disease and tooth decay.
Keep in mind that as awesome as strawberries (and berries in general) are, they are also very susceptible to pesticide and bacteria contamination due to the porous skin. Whether you buy organic or not, be sure to rinse the berries under water for at least two minutes prior to eating.
Onto the recipe!
- Makes one 10-inch pizza
- 4 large strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ½ large red onion, sliced thinly
- 10-12 large fresh basil leaves
- ½ 4 ounce plain goat cheese log
- ½ cup chopped kale
- 1 fresh whole wheat pizza dough
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp balsamic glaze (for garnish)
- Pizza stone or flat baking sheet
- Medium sized nonstick pan
1. Set oven to lowest rack and preheat oven to 450ºF.
2. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat and add onions. After 2-3 minutes add balsamic vinegar and reduce heat to low. Stir onions until they’ve softened completely and turned several shades darker, approximately 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
3. If you’re using store-bought dough, place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Take a small amount of dough and spread it into a thin, even circle about 10 inches across on a sheet or pizza stone. Begin layering the toppings, starting with the fresh basil, followed by the onions, strawberries, goat cheese, and top with kale.
4. Place sheet in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Let it cool for several minutes before cutting across. Add balsamic glaze across the top for garnish and then here comes the best part: you serve up a slice and eat it. :-)
Did you know?
Botanists don’t actually classify strawberries as berries. Other berries have their seeds on the inside, while strawberries have their yellow seeds on the outside. Oh, and those aren’t even seeds. They’re actually separate fruit in and of themselves. Crazy!!!
I’M NOT DONE YET. COME BACK TOMORROW FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF SUMMER KITCHEN FUN!! :-)
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