We’re thick in the middle of corn and tomato season, and I’m grateful. In the pantheon of summer vegetables I rank corn and tomatoes at the top—primarily because their existence is so fleeting. I mean, you can get a decent zucchini at the grocery in the middle of February and not know any difference. Corn and tomatoes, no, they’re at their very best from July through summer’s end (though tomatoes continue to thrive in the Midwest until frost).
Fortunately, summer corn and tomatoes are so versatile that it’s easy to eat your fill all season long and never get tired of them. Why not add them to that other ne plus ultra of versatile foods: the pizza?
Here’s what you get: A chewy, golden crust crackling with cornmeal. The sweet, toothy pop of bicolor corn. The sunny tang of fresh, ripe tomatoes. The depth of flavor from basil pesto. The salty porkiness of good prosciutto. (Which you could omit and make this a perfect Meatless Monday dinner.)
Ahhh, summer. I’ll be dreaming of this summer pizza recipe next winter …
summer pizza with tomato, corn and pesto
half recipe for homemade pizza dough
2 ears fresh summer corn, shucked and kernels cut off the cob
2 ripe summer tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 to 3 Tbsp. basil pesto
1 cup (packed) grated Fontina cheese (about 4 ounces)
3 slices prosciutto, torn into rough pieces
cornmeal for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 45o degrees (if you have a pizza stone, place that on a middle rack to preheat). Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil; add a large pinch of salt and then cook the corn kernels for 2 minutes. Drain the corn in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
On a lightly floured pastry cloth or countertop, use a rolling pin or your hands to roll and press the dough into a rough circle about 14 inches in diameter. Generously sprinkle cornmeal on the hot pizza stone, then carefully transfer the dough to the stone; bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until the crust is just beginning to brown around the edges. (Poke the crust with the tip of a sharp paring knife if it bubbles up.)
Use a large baking sheet to transfer the crust from the oven. Scatter diced tomatoes all over the pizza, then the corn. Spoon pesto over the vegetables. Top with the Fontina cheese, then finish with the prosciutto pieces. Return the pizza to the stone and continue baking for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the crust is deeply golden, the cheese is melty and the prosciutto is crispy along the edges.