Goat Cheese & Peach Pizza Recipe
An easy vegetarian dinner idea. Cookbook author Bruce Weinstein has created a terrific pesto here, one that uses almonds (rather than pine nuts) and tarragon with the basil. You'll make about twice as much as you need for the pie. Either double the other ingredients and make two pizzas or save the remainder of the pesto in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for a couple of months.
2/3 cup sliced almonds
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, any thick stems removed
1/3 cup almond oil, or olive oil for a stronger taste, plus more as needed
1/3 cup finely grated hard, aged goat cheese, such as a goat Gruyère or goat Gouda
1/4 cup packed fresh tarragon leaves
2 tbsp water
1 medium garlic clove, quartered
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
One 1-lb. pizza dough (either packaged dough from the supermarket, thawed if necessary, or dough bought from a pizza parlour)
2 ripe peaches, halved, pitted, and sliced into thin wedges
4 oz. fresh chèvre or soft goat cheese
Step 1: Toast the sliced almonds in a dry skillet set over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Dump them into a food processor. Add the basil, almond oil, grated cheese, tarragon leaves, water, garlic, salt, and pepper. Process until a grainy pesto, scraping down the inside of the canister once or twice. Don’t have a food processor? You can do this operation by mincing the almonds, herbs, and garlic, then scraping them into a bowl and stirring in the oil, cheese, water, salt, and pepper.
Step 2: Position the rack in the centre of the oven; preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil an 11″ x 17″ baking sheet. Set the dough on the sheet, press and dimple the dough into a shape about the size of the baking sheet.
Step 3: Spread half of the pesto on the pie, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges. Put the remainder of the pesto in a sealable container, pour a thin film of almond oil over it, and store, covered, in the fridge.
Step 4: Arrange the peach slices in a decorative pattern over the pesto on the pie. Crumble the goat cheese evenly over the top.
Step 5: Bake until the crust is golden, 17-20 minutes. If you notice any bubbles in the crust as it bakes, pop them with a fork. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then cut into pieces.
Reprinted with permission from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s Goat (2011 Stewart, Tabori & Chang).