Cherries have hit the Farmers’ Markets in Western North Carolina recently. Cherries hold a special place in my heart. I grew up in Michigan where we were surrounded by orchards full of them. The lovely sour cherries made delicious pies. There are so many desserts you can make with cherries, but I have never before used them in a savory dish. When I found this cherry and strawberry pizza recipe on Ambitious Kitchen’s blog, I knew I had to try it.
Roasting cherries and strawberries softens them and concentrates their flavors. Also included on the pizzas are onions which are caramelized and then splashed with balsamic vinegar. The pizzas can be assembled on a pita bread crust. I actually used purchased Indian naan rounds. The crusts are first sprinkled with mozzarella cheese and then the other ingredients are added.
After the pizzas are baked you can top them with arugula or baby greens and drizzle them with more balsamic vinegar.
Nothing could be easier. I love fresh cherries. The pizzas made a lovely lunch. Thinking outside of the box is always a surprise.
Speaking of Farmers’ Markets, my good friend and blogging buddy Penny has just begun publishing a food blog called From Harvest to Table. She has had a wonderful lifestyle blog called The Comforts of Home for several years now. Because of her interest in local food sources, she has thrown her hat into the ring of food blogging. Please visit her wonderful new blog and make her welcome. She is a fabulous cook.
ROASTED BALSAMIC CHERRY AND STRAWBERRY PITA PIZZA
3 tsp olive oil, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbls. balsamic vinegar, divided
1/4 tsp salt
10 dark red cherries, pitted and halved
2 to 3 whole wheat pita breads or naans
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup arugula or baby greens
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss strawberries and cherries in 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread on a baking sheet and place in oven for for about 10 minutes.
Heat medium saute pan over medium-high heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add onion and stir frequently until onions begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cook 1 more minute and then remove from heat and set aside.
Place whole wheat pitas on a nonstick baking sheet. Brush pitas with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute roasted strawberries and cherries, cheese. and onions onto pitas. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees F or until edges of pitas begin to turn golden brown.
Top each pizza with arugula and cut into triangles. Drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar and top with salt and pepper.