Topped with homemade pesto, fresh asparagus, chive blossoms, and mozzerella, this summer vegetable pizza will quickly become a favorite.
This summer vegetable pizza has quickly become a favorite in our household. When our neighbor dropped off the most beautiful chives from her garden, I kept thinking how gorgeous it would be on top of a pizza. The chive blossom's vibrant purple color really pops against the green carrot top pesto. It's a really pretty pizza, if you ask me!
This recipe highlights some of summer's best produce with fresh asparagus, chives (and chive blossoms), and homemade pesto. It's definitely an out-of-the-box pizza and anything but your typical veggie pizza. But it totally works. It's earthy, crisp, and really savory, despite being vegetarian.
Tips for making pizza from scratch
Use a pizza stone: If you want to level up your pizza making game, invest in a pizza stone ASAP. I purchased this pizza stone in 16" (affiliate link), and I truly cannot rave enough. It's under $70 and makes the crust so crisp every single time. Well worth it to me!
Crank up the heat: A lot of recipes I've seen say to heat the oven to about 400F, which I've never found to work well. Professional pizza ovens are usually a minimum of 800F, so you'll want to crank up your oven to the hottest setting it'll go to, which is usually 500F. The higher the temp, the crispier the 'za!
Less is more: I know, I know, so cliched! When topping pizzas, it's easy to get carried away. I mean, who doesn't want a ton of sauce a cheese? There is a limit though. If your toppings get too heavy, it'll weigh the dough down. Not only will it not rise as much, but the center of the pizza can get soggy.
Oil and season the crust: Before I put any toppings on the pizza, I always oil and season the crust. This is what is going to get it extra crunchy. Depending on the toppings, I often season with salt, garlic powder, dried thyme, or dried parsley.
Let the pizza cool 5-10 minutes: Possibly the worst part about pizza making is that you need to let the pie cool for 5-10 minutes after pulling it from the oven. This lets the sauce and cheese settle... and will prevent you from burning your mouth!
Summer veggie pizza toppings and substitutions
Asparagus: I love how much earthiness the asparagus adds, but you can totally omit it if you're not a huge fan. Or throw on another vegetable instead. One nice thing about the asparagus is that you don't need to cook it ahead of time, it'll cook along with the pizza.
Chives / chive blossoms: To me, chives just scream summer. They're so fresh and delicate tasting and they really are the stars of the show here. The chive blossoms are the blooms on top of chives and are safe to eat. They can be difficult to find in supermarkets, but I've seen them at the farmer's market almost every week.
Mozzarella: I always prefer fresh, balled mozzarella. It has so much more moisture, it tastes better, and it's also healthier. In most cases, shredded cheese are coated in a flour or anti-caking mixture so the shreds don't clump together. If you can, just buy a ball of cheese and cut it into smaller pieces.
Carrot top pesto: Or, what I like to refer to it as, "poor man's pesto." But, seriously, carrot tops are basically a free ingredient, right?! While I prefer this pizza with carrot top pesto, you can absolutely use a traditional basil pesto or whatever else you have on-hand. It'll be great, regardless!
Pizza dough: I like to make my pizza dough from scratch, but you can use store-bought or another recipe if you'd prefer. While I've never tried it, I imagine this pizza would taste really great with a whole wheat crust too!
Frequently Asked Questions
How large of a pizza does this make?
Depending on how thin you roll out your crust, it makes about a 15" pizza. When serving with a side salad, this usually feeds about 3 people.
Is homemade pizza really worth the effort?
Yes! My pizza game has come a long way, and it's at the point where I can honestly say that I prefer my pizza to our local pizzerias. Now, if I was still living in NYC, I wouldn't be making homemade as often!
Can I make the pizza dough in advance?
Absolutely. Dependig on the recipe, you can make dough up to 2 weeks in advance if storing it in the refrigerator. You can also store it in the freezer, but that's not something I've actually ever done.
What pizza dough recipe do you use?
I follow this NYT pizza dough recipe for the quantities, but make it in my stand mixer rather than by hand.
- 1 lb of pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
- 2-4 tablespoons semolina (or flour)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup carrot top pesto (see notes)
- ¼ cup fresh asparagus, chopped in 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
- handful of chive blossoms
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 500F with the pizza stone inside. Once oven has reached 500F, let sit another 15 minutes to allow the pizza stone to get up to temperature. Note: If you do not have a pizza stone, you can use a sheet tray.
- Dust your work area with semolina to prevent the dough from sticking. I like to work on a large piece of parchment paper to make transfer to the dough easier.
- Roll the pizza dough out to a ~15" circle using a rolling pin or your fingers.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the outter crust with the olive oil and sprinkle the salt and garlic powder on top.
- Add the carrot top pesto to the middle of the pizza, leaving the crust bare. Top with the mozzarella, asparagus, and chives. At this point, you can also add the chive blossoms or add them at the end of baking so they retain their color.
- Bake for about 15-25 minutes, rotating half way.
- Let cool 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 628Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 834mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 14g