A Slice of Summer

3 genius combinations for a grilled pizza party

The grill is summer's best friend (when you avoid these common pitfalls lighting your charcoal). It adds char and complexity to everything from steaks to smoky vegetables. Not to mention the cleanup is beyond easy—and you can hang outside and chat with all of your friends who drop by throughout the day. 

A favorite food that also takes beautifully to the grill is pizza: Thanks to a grill's high heat, crusts crisp up in just minutes, cheeses melt into buttery puddles and toppings take on a whisper of smoke.

Another reason summer pizzas are so delicious? The glut of peak seasonal produce that coincides with grilling season. When stone fruits are perfectly ripe, fresh herbs piquant and vegetables full of flavor, go beyond the classic tomato-and-cheese combo and load your pies with summer's best offerings. Here, some combinations to get you started (watch the video to see all three).

Sweet + Savory = Fig Jam and Taleggio with Pecans and Frisée

The rich, super-melty, slightly funky taleggio plays well with the fig jam, which the lettuce and nuts add freshness and texture to.

1 ball pizza dough + ¼ c fig jam + 4 oz taleggio cheese, cut into ¼-inch slices + ¼ c chopped pecans + ½ c frisée leaves + 1 tbsp lemon juice + olive oil, for drizzling + flaky salt, for garnish

Stretch the pizza dough into a 12-inch circle onto a floured, inverted baking sheet. Spread the fig jam over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border for the crust. Scatter the pieces of taleggio cheese over the jam and sprinkle the pecans over top. Transfer the pizza to the grill and cook until the dough is lightly charred and the cheese has melted, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a platter and garnish with frisee leaves, lemon juice, olive oil and flaky salt. Slice and serve.

Stone Fruit Stunner = Nectarine and Prosciutto with Goat Cheese and Tarragon

Summer is prime time for juicy, ripe stone fruits. Prosciutto and goat cheese add salty notes, while the sweet honey and vibrant tarragon tie it all together.

1 ball pizza dough + 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled + 1 nectarine—halved, pitted and cut into ¼-inch slices + 4 slices (3 oz) prosciutto + 2 tbsp tarragon + 1 tbsp honey + olive oil, for drizzling + freshly cracked black pepper, for garnish

Stretch the pizza dough into a 12-inch circle onto a floured, inverted baking sheet. Scatter the goat cheese and nectarine slices over the dough, then lay the slices of prosciutto over top. Transfer the pizza to the grill and cook until the dough is lightly charred and the cheese has melted, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a platter and garnish with tarragon, honey, olive oil and black pepper. Slice and serve.

Prime Pesto = Arugula Pesto with Burrata and Mint

The bright, peppery notes of arugula make for a more interesting pesto, while the milky, creamy burrata cheese makes the pie beyond luscious.

½ c baby arugula + ½ c basil leaves + ¼ c walnuts + 2 tbsp grated Parmesan + 1 tbsp lemon juice + 2 tsp lemon zest + Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper + ¼ c olive oil, plus more for drizzling + kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper + 1 ball pizza dough + 4 oz burrata, torn + ¼ c mint leaves + crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish 

In a food processor, combine the arugula, basil, walnuts, Parmesan, lemon juice and zest. Process until a paste forms. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil until a smooth pesto forms. Season with salt and pepper. Stretch the pizza dough into a 12-inch circle onto a floured, inverted baking sheet. Spread the pesto over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border for the crust. Scatter torn pieces of burrata over top and transfer the pizza to the grill. Cook until the dough is lightly charred and the cheese has melted, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a platter and garnish with the mint leaves, crushed pepper flakes and olive oil. Slice and serve.

Crate and Barrel provided the products featured here and sponsored this post.