What's more summery than a fresh tomato and peach pizza with light and creamy, basil and mint–flecked white sauce?
Tomatoes and peaches are as much a part of summer as lazy beach days and family cookouts. Both fruits reach their peak ripeness when the weather gets hot, plumping up and bursting with sweet, bright, juicy flavor, and, in my opinion, they are the best enjoyed in simple applications with just a few other ingredients. Case in point: this minimalist salad from A Couple Cooks. Well, and this tomato and peach pizza, of course.
To give the tomatoes and peaches equal play, I used a base that complemented them both: a light ricotta-cream sauce loaded with chopped fresh basil and mint. Then, I arranged the fresh fruits and mozzarella on top and baked it up. When it came out of the oven, I let it rest for 5 minutes so the sauce congealed, then topped it with more fresh herbs before serving. The result was creamy yet light, rich in flavor yet bright, savory yet sweet. The perfect slice to pair with a glass of something light and bubbly while lounging in the backyard.
Feel free to use crumbled feta instead of the mozzarella for a tangier pizza. Also, you can play around with the herbs: tarragon, lemon balm, rosemary, and thyme are all great options. (Though basil and mint are definitely a winning pair here.)
Tomato and Peach Pizza with Herbed White Sauce
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
For the herbed white sauce
- ½ cup whole milk ricotta
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the pizza
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- 1 medium to large ripe peach thinly sliced
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cut into ¼-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil and/or mint
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating).
To make the sauce
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, cream, basil, mint, lemon zest, salt, and a grind or two of black pepper. Set aside. (This makes about 1 cup, enough for about three pizzas. If you aren't making multiple pizzas, measure out ⅓ to ½ cup of the sauce for your pizza, and refrigerate the rest in an airtight container for up to 2 days. It's delicious tossed with cooked linguine pasta!)
To make the pizza
- If you're using a baking stone/steel, turn the oven to Broil on high.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Spread about ⅓ to ½ cup of the sauce evenly across the dough, leaving a ½-inch border of dough all around. Arrange the peach slices in a pretty design, then scatter on the tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Remove the pizza from the oven. Season with a pinch or two of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and scatter on the chopped fresh herbs. Let the pizza rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving (this resting time allows the sauces to congeal a bit so it's not too messy when you slice the pizza).