strawberry lover’s bbq chicken pizza with bacon & basil

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I just returned home from a lovely blufftop picnic with my friend Clare. We hiked to the top by way of a favorite wooded path and sat at a stone table where we admired a sweeping view of the pretty town below. We noshed on macaroni picnic jar salads topped with a little honey cornbread and fresh baby spinach leaves (great combination! It’s going in the jar picnic file!) We also had some 5 bean salad, fresh apple slices, cake brownies and rosewater lemonade. It was a big lunch, but we earned it after that hill climb. Now I’m glad to be home in the air conditioning 🙂

So. Strawberries on pizza? Is that what you said when you saw the photo? Yeah, I know it seems a bit strange. This pizza would definitely fall under the “savory” category as opposed to “sweet.” You have to trust me on this one. If you’re a strawberry lover, I think this is going to be right up your alley. Don’t be scared. The combination of the strawberry bbq sauce, smoky grilled chicken, sweet berries, fresh basil and mild cheese all work together very well. We drizzled ours with sweet honey balsamic that was out of this world and really brought out the fabulous flavors of the pizza. Ready?

for 1 (10 inch) deep dish, pan pizza :

~ preheat oven to 400 degrees F. ~

for the crust:

cornmeal for coating pan

1/2 lb. of your favorite, homemade pizza dough

Oil your 10 inch, cast iron skillet. Sprinkle bottom with about 2 Tablespoons of cornmeal. Spread the pizza dough evenly into the bottom of the skillet and about 1 and 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with the following ingredients in the order given:

3/4 cup homemade strawberry bbq sauce, OR your favorite sweet, smoky bbq

1 cup grilled chicken chunks

2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese or fresh Mozzarella chunks

10 slices bacon, fried and crumbled

5 large strawberries (or 10 small) sliced

handful of fresh basil leaves, whole or torn

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

a little sprinkle of sea salt

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until pizza is very hot all the way through, cheese is bubbly and melted, and crust is golden brown.

Cool for 2 minutes in the skillet. Carefully remove pizza from skillet and transfer it to a large cutting board. Slice with a pizza cutter. Plate and drizzle with honey balsamic.

for the honey balsamic:

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 Tablespoons honey

Combine vinegar and honey together in a small bowl until well mixed. Drizzle over pizza slices.

Enjoy!

~Melissa

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