Strawberry Balsamic Pizza

With June upon us, we have found ourselves in the thick of what promises to be the busiest summer ever.  We've been so busy, that cooking has almost completely fallen by the wayside in favor of anything that can be made up in advance or thrown together on the fly, so when I actually took the time to make this pizza last week, it was truly indulgent on many levels, not the least of which is the double dose of homegrown strawberries.  

Our first year of strawberries has been fantastic!  They have been perfectly sweet and tasty, as evidenced by the fact that most of them have been eaten up nearly as quickly as they come in from the garden.  I feel completely spoiled to have had such a steady supply of fresh strawberries this spring.  Worth every single mosquito bite, no question.  
There was also no question this was next on my list of strawberry recipes to try.  Another play on sweet and savory, the sauce is simply amazing!  I used my Strawberry Rhubarb Jalapeno Spread, but you can use any strawberry or strawberry combination jam, and don't let the sriracha sauce scare you - trust me on this one.  And while the sauce is definitely the star, the fresh strawberries and cilantro don't exactly fade into the background either.  The flavor combinations are unbelievable.

Fair warning: this recipe is a little fussy if you are cooking all the elements at once.  You can reduce the prep time by preparing the chicken, bacon, and even the sauce ahead of time.

Strawberry Balsamic Pizza

For the Sauce: 
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

Bring vinegar to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the volume is reduced by half.  Remove from heat, whisk in the strawberry jam and sriracha sauce, and allow to cool.  

For the Pizza:  

Pizza dough of choice
Prepared sauce
1 cup shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion or shallot
1 bag finely shredded cheese of choice
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely shredded

Roll out pizza crust according to taste and brush outer crust with a little olive oil.  Spread the sauce on the crust, reserving a couple of tablespoons to mix with the chicken.  Layer half the cheese, chicken (coated in the reserved sauce), onion or shallot, and bacon.  Top with remaining cheese and bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before topping with fresh strawberries and cilantro.  

Recipe adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine

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