Confession time: I’ve known about this pizza for the better part of a year, and I haven’t shared it with you yet.  Shame on me.  But you see, I had good intentions.  I first tried this pizza last summer, right at the tail end of strawberry season.  Really, I think I used our last container of strawberries to make it before they started to go south fast.  And we loved it.  This presented a dilemma.  Share the pizza with you then, when (a) strawberries were no longer available or (b) you might be tempted to make it with flavorless berries, or (c) wait all fall and winter until strawberry season arrived again.  You can see which route I opted to take, and I think it was the right one.

Now that good berries are  available, I suggest you find some, make this, and prepare to be wowed.  If you think the idea of strawberries on pizza is completely strange, I was right there with you before I had tried it.  This was a recipe I initially tried simply because I was intrigued, and I think we had extra bacon in the fridge.  Suffice it to say, we dreamed about this pizza all through the fall and winter months.  When I made it again recently, I served it to guests who were also politely skeptical but just like me, they are now fully convinced.  The flavor combinations may seem odd but I swear, it just works.  The sweet-savory-mild spiciness is awesome.  Give it a chance, you won’t be sorry!

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Ingredients

For the sauce:
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup good quality strawberry jam or preserves
1 tsp. sriracha chili sauce

To assemble:
1 ball pizza dough
Olive oil, for brushing
1 cup shredded or diced cooked chicken
4 slices applewood smoked bacon, diced and cooked until crisp
½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
Scant ½ cup hulled strawberries, diced

Directions

  • 01

    Add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook 4-5 minutes or until reduced by about half with a thick, syrupy texture.  In a small bowl, combine the balsamic reduction with the strawberry jam and sriracha chili sauce.  Set aside.

  • 02

    To make the pizza, heat the oven to 500˚ F and preheat a pizza stone for at least 30 minutes.  Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round.  Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil.  Spread the balsamic-strawberry mixture in a thin layer over the crust.  Layer with the chicken, bacon, onion, cheeses, cilantro, and strawberries.

  • 03

    Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 11-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

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