Hmm….wonder how fresh peaches would taste on a pizza?  Well, along with some heirloom tomatoes, fresh goat cheese (spiked with chipotle), hot banana peppers (to counterbalance the sweetness of the peaches), basil, and some really tasty truffle salami.  Basically, a tomato-peach salad atop some homemade dough in the form of a pizza.

There’s no way to get that nice charcoaled crust without a wood/cool fire oven.  That being said, using a pizza stone and turning your oven up as high as it goes, produces a crispy, browned crust in under 10 minutes.

Am indecisive at times and had trouble deciding on what type of cheese to use on the pizza. Ultimately, I settled upon a combination of fresh goat cheese from Cherry Glen Farm (located just outside Washington, DC, in Boyds, MD) and Cypress Grove (Arcata, California), and some Manchego (Spain).

Verdict: I love the combination of the peaches and tomatoes.  As for the truffle salami, what’s not to love.  You get hints of truffle with every bite; probably some of the best salami I’ve tasted outside of Italy.  Alternatively, you could drizzle a bit of white truffle oil over the pizza after it comes out of the oven or garnish with a sprinkle of truffle sea salt.  Cherokee purple, green and red zebra heirloom tomatoes and juicy peaches from West Virginia.  Everything tastes fresh and is not weighed down by the cheese.

Farmers’ Market Pizza

Pizza toppings
1 large or 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 peach, thinly sliced
1 banana pepper, seeds removed, thinly sliced
(truffle) salami, thinly sliced
shredded/crumbled cheese (used combination of fresh goat’s cheese and Manchego)
fresh basil, thinly sliced for garnish
sea salt or truffle salt to taste
drizzle of olive oil or truffle oil
red pepper flakes
pizza dough (recipe below)

Place the pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500F (or as high as your oven will go) for at least 30 minutes.

Now it’s time to roll out the dough.  Generously flour a peel or the back of a sheet pan.  Roll the dough so that it stretches to about 11-12″ in diameter for a 9-ounce piece of dough.

Slide the pizza onto the baking stone and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 8 ½ to 9 minutes. Top with fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil or white truffle oil, sea salt or truffle salt, and some red pepper flakes to taste.

Pizza Dough

Makes 4 pizzas (each weighting 9 ounces)–I used 1 and froze the rest

4 1/2 cups (20.25 ounces) 00 flour (or all purpose flour, unbleached high-gluten, bread, or half white-wheat)
1 3/4 teaspoons (0.44 ounces) salt
1 teaspoon (0.11 ounces) instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil (optional)
1 3/4 cup (14 ounces) ice cold water

Note: I actually used half white-wheat flour in the dough.  On previous attempts, I found the dough a bit “doughy” with whole wheat.  But upon further experimentation, I found that if you roll the dough out very thin, it will get nice and crispy.

Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast.  Stir in the water and olive oil (if using).  With a wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients together until it forms a ball.  Mix for about 5-7 minutes until all ingredients are evenly distributed.  The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky.

Sprinkle flour over the dough.  Cut the dough into four pieces.  Gently shape each piece into a ball. Mist the dough with oil, and cover with plastic.

The next step is letting the dough rise.  Typically, I let the dough rise for three hours at room temperature.  You could also refrigerate overnight to rest the dough (it can keep up to three days in the refrigerator); remove from the fridge and let the dough come to room temperature before shaping it.

Hibiscus Tea

Something light and refreshing to go with your pizza…

I’ve made this tea on many occasions — baby showers, work functions, dinner parties — and it’s always a big hit.  The tea has just a hint of sweetness from pure cane sugar.  There are nice floral notes from the hibiscus flowers, along with cinnamon and citrus undertones.  Very light and refreshing.

Hibiscus Tea

From Michael Chiarello

48 ounces (6 cups) water
3 tablespoons hibiscus flowers, unsprayed
2 cinnamon sticks
1/8 cup sugar
1 small orange, sliced

Bring water to a light boil.  Turn off the heat, add the hibiscus flowers and cinnamon sticks.  Cover and steep for 20 minutes.  Strain the tea, add the sugar and orange slices.  Serve over ice.

Note: I typically find hibiscus flowers at Mexican grocery stores or, sometimes, Whole Foods (make sure the hibiscus flowers are organic and haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or chemicals).

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This tasted GREAT at my baby shower, thanks Linda!


This tasted GREAT at my baby shower, thanks Linda!


I always have hibiscus water at Lagartijas (on Ashland). Now I can make a similar bevvy at home! Thanks Linda, I will let you know how it turns out!


I always have hibiscus water at Lagartijas (on Ashland). Now I can make a similar bevvy at home! Thanks Linda, I will let you know how it turns out!

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