It’s movie night, and you’re passing on delivery pizza to make the good stuff from scratch right at home. This fall, try out any of these five seasonal ingredients for your autumn pizza. Now all you need is a side salad, tall glass of cider, and scary movie to complete the evening …
Ripe, jammy figs bring the sweetest of earthy fall flavors to the table. Slice the figs into ¼-inch rounds and place them directly over your sauce of choice, then top with desired cheeses.
Pairs with these cheeses: Dots of goat or ricotta cheese, or with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Pairs with these sauces: Spread a layer of fig jam, onion compote, or any other thin, tart sauce over pizza dough before layering on the figs.
Pairs with these toppings: Caramelized onions, sliced prosciutto, and/or arugula.
Use sliced persimmon fruits as you would pears or figs on a pizza—pair them with soft cheeses and salty meats. Keep in mind that persimmons have an apple-meets-tomato flavor, so unless they’re incredibly ripe, they won’t deliver a terrible amount of sweetness to your pizza.
Pairs with these cheeses: Dots of goat or ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, or blue cheese.
Pairs with these sauces: Any sauce with rosemary, thyme, or basil will bring out the autumnal flavors of this unusual fruit—try a homemade herbed marinara or a thin layer of herb-infused olive oil as your sauce.
Pairs with these toppings: Dark salad greens like spinach, frisée, or arugula, aromatic herbs like rosemary and thyme, and/or toasted nuts.
To compose your pear pizza, consider ingredients you might use if making a salad with pears—white cheeses, woody herbs, and toasty nuts. These same ingredients are just as at home together atop a warm, bubbly pizza.
Pairs with these cheeses: Gorgonzola, goat, shredded mozzarella, Pecorino, or blue cheese.
Pairs with these sauces: Any sauce with woodsy sage or rosemary brings out the aromatic flavors of pears. Or skip the sauce altogether and just try olive oil and lots of white cheese.
Pairs with these toppings: Shredded chicken or duck, bacon or prosciutto, walnuts, pistachios, and/or caramelized onions.
Fennel is one of the main spices used in Italian sausage, which is a common topping for pizza, so its flavors are right at home here. Slice fennel and add it to any pizza you like, especially those with spicy flavors, basil, or salty meats.
Pairs with these cheeses: Use any pizza cheese you’re in the mood for—will match both traditional melty cheeses and the softer ones.
Pairs with these sauces: Fennel can match most any pizza sauce, from tomato-based marinaras to olive oils to aromatic compotes.
Pairs with these toppings: Sausage, red onions, olives, bell peppers (especially roasted), green onions, Italian herbs, and/or anchovies.
For the ultimate fall pizza, roast pumpkin cubes until softened, then use with your toppings. Think purely autumnal foods here—all ingredients in season from September until November should match your pumpkin well.
Pairs with these cheeses: Ricotta, mozzarella, Fontina, or feta cheese.
Pairs with these sauces: Err on the side of less sauce here, aiming for either thin compote-jammy sauces or a brushing of olive oil instead.
Pairs with these toppings: Bacon, sausage, sage, rosemary, red onions, corn, shiitake mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, garlic, spinach, chard, and/or arugula.
Image adapted from Edsel L, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0