Summer’s Garden Pizza + Pear, Fig and Cranberry Salad


Pizza can be a light, nutritious and flavorful dinner to enjoy on the patio on cool July and August evenings.


Instead of heavy meats, utilize your favorite, refreshing roasted or steamed vegetables from last night’s dinner.


Add seasonal tomato and basil, and use a simple crust to highlight summertime’s produce bounty.


This pizza takes a trip to a summer meal in Rome or Naples with the addition of bright, vibrant Italian flavors.


Feel free to leave off a topping you don’t enjoy, or substitute one topping for another. However, beware of adding additional ingredients. A gorgeous pizza allows a few, assertive fine savors to shine.


The garden eggplant and tomatoes are juicy and refreshing, while the cheese, capers and olives are full-bodied, piquant and briny, offering a full range of powerful sensations for the taste buds. Many New Mexicans may add garden chiles or jalapeños, but these cured goodies offered enough flavor “oomph” for me!


Of course, one cannot enjoy pizza without a crisp, green salad. A salad of crisp greens, sweet pear, figs, cranberries, crunchy pistachios and salty, rich blue cheese is a perfect match for a herbaceous, vegetarian pizza.


Fresh rosemary grows wild in New Mexico; ask a neighbor if you can borrow a snippet of rosemary, and you may make a new friend in seconds.


My husband and I eat a salad with absolutely every dinner; no exceptions. They are a satisfying, creative and jolly way to enjoy myriad nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.


The sky’s the limit: build a base off of spinach, arugula or “spring mix,” and let your creative juices flow.  Introduce salad into your nightly routine with the recipe, below.


Check out past and previous Curls and Carrots recipes in the New Mexico Jewish Link newspaper.


Summer’s Garden Pizza

Serves Four (Serving size: two slices)


14 ounces whole-grain pizza dough, homemade (recommended) or a store-bought/refrigerated

1/2 cup light basil pesto, store-bought or homemade

2 cups leftover roasted or steamed vegetables of choice (I used garden eggplant and broccoli)

1 large tomato, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 cup olives, any variety, halved (I used Italian Castelvetrano)

1/2 cup feta, crumbled (I used Italian sheep’s milk Mizithra cheese)

2 Tablespoons capers, drained

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1-2 Tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil

cracked black pepper

cornmeal, for dusting cookie sheet tray


  • Preheat oven to 500•F. Dust a standard-sized cookie sheet tray with cornmeal.
  • Unroll store-bought, rectangular dough onto the cookie sheet. If using homemade dough, use your hands to stretch into a rectangle and place on sheet.
  • Bake the dough four to five minutes, just until cooked through but not browned.
  • Spread the basil pesto even onto the pizza dough, leaving one-inch edges all around for the crust to show.
  • In the following order, evenly layer the roasted or steamed vegetables, tomato, olives, feta, capers, garlic and basil.
  • Bake the pizza for about seven to ten more minutes, until warmed through and the crust is a light golden hue.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper, slice and serve.


Pear, Fig and Cranberry Salad

Serves four “starter” (or in some countries, “finishing”) salads

5 ounces baby spinach

2 large, organic bosc pears, cored and sliced into matchsticks or “julienne”
2 ounces crumbled “blue” cheese, about 1/3 cup (I used Roquefort)

1/3 cup roasted, salted and shelled pistachios

1/4 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries

8 dried or fresh brown figs, thinly sliced and stems removed

1/2 cup baby carrots, thinly sliced at the diagonal

1/3 cup homemade or storebought light French vinaigrette

sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

1 1/4 teaspoon very finely chopped, fresh rosemary


  • Evenly divide the baby spinach between four small salad plates.
  • Layer the pear, cheese, pistachios, cranberries, figs and carrots on each plate, making sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Drizzle each salad with vinaigrette, a little over a tablespoon for each salad.
  • Sprinkle each salad with 1/4 teaspoon rosemary.
  • Lightly season the salads with salt and pepper and serve.
  • Alternatively, assemble this salad in a large bowl, toss and serve family style.

©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.



64 thoughts on “Summer’s Garden Pizza + Pear, Fig and Cranberry Salad

  1. Looks so lovely! I think you are right, the pesto, feta and olives would more than make up for the meaty flavour.

    Your pizza crust looks lovely and light too.

  2. We definitely share some flavour favourites. I love olives and capers on pizza (plus red onion!).
    As for that salad… the pistachio and fig combo made my mouth water 😉

  3. I would love my pizza with left over roast veggies, please, they are the best. And I love the sound of that salad, wow, crisp greens, pears, figs, blue cheese, and pistachio. If you give me that one we shall be friends forever…LOL. Enjoy Sunday, Shanna. Best…Liz

    1. Hi, Liz. I love the pear salad recipe on your blog. It is a really nice, tasty change of pace from the standard pear-fig one I make around here! Especially with with the arugula. Everyone, head over to Liz’s blog to check out her salad, soup, pasta recipes (and beyond!). Cheers!

  4. Again, so many food similarities between us! We love to grill pizza in the summer. I just made more tomato sauce and will certainly use some for pizza. I also love garden pesto on a pizza. The salad looks great. We have two pear trees that usually go gangbusters, but unfortunately they are sparse this year. The gala tree is doing well though! Anyway, the fig blue cheese combo is also great. We are actually getting our first figs ever from our tree as well. I hope they make it to full size, not many, about ten, but better than nothing! Enjoy the week Shanna.

    1. Gretchen, your comments are seriously. making. me. drool. Fig tree? Pear tree? Apple tree? Fresh tomatoes from your garden and beyond! New Mexico is a great place to grow pear and fig trees, but they take about five years to grow large enough to bear fruit, and five years is how long hubby’s job here was set for. There is even a New Mexico fig tree expert called the fig man, or something like that. 🙂 One of these days, we are going to meet for lunch and order the exact same things! Have a good week!

      1. We have had our fig tree for about 10 years and this is our first fruit. One year recently it started ONE fig but it never made it. Hope this is the year! Enjoy your week.

  5. This pizza is right up my alley, Shanna, so flavorful and tempting to the eye. Love, too, the salad you’ve created for an accompaniment. Cranberries and bleu cheese are a match made in heaven. 🙂

  6. Hi Shanna, I usually do not like vege pizzas,… until I saw yours! Yep, I definitely would like this one 🙂 And with that salad, the fruit, the blue cheese, thats a winning combination for me. Un abrazo!

  7. Shanna! This is beautiful. Right up my alley. You are such a talented and creative cook. Yum! What a great way to use all the fresh veggies of the season. Wow.

  8. Hi Shanna, I’m intrigued by the rosemary on the salad as I’ve never tried that before. Fresh figs were amazing in Italy where they get to ripen on the tree. Your post is making me hungry!

    1. Thank you, Stefan! Rosemary is a very powerful herb, so try a small amount first and see what you think. Or, infuse your oil with rosemary and remove the sprigs before making a basic vinaigrette. Italy and fresh figs sound amazing! 🙂

  9. Whether you are a great one for homemade pizza (like me) or just a-good-things-in-life fervent lover (like me again), this post is absolutely a mandatory stop!
    Espero que el calor te trate bien estos meses! Un beso enorme, amiga 😀

    1. Me encanta todas comidas con el pan. 😉 Gracias, Rosa. Sí, hace muchísimo calor aqui en Nuevo México. El tiempo no estoy bien para mi, la mujer embarazada. 😉 Espero que el tiempo en España te trate bien todo el verano. Un abrazo muy fuerte. 🙂

  10. fantastic, Shanna! Now I want pizza and salad. They look amazing. And thanks for sharing your article links. Love knowing what you’ve been up to. These are great for your resume–very nice.

  11. 2 very tasty recipes! I love your pizza too! So delicious! I think that I would top mine with vegan chorizo slices for some extra heat! 🙂
    That salad looks equally tasty!

  12. This pizza looks very tasty!! a month ago we went back to Italy for a week, and we ate a lot of pizza’s hihi. But this one looks so YUM, def going to try this recipe. Thank you Shanna 😀

  13. I visited this post the other day and at the time was “pressed for time” and didn’t really dig in and read it. I made a note to myself to come back and check out your salad. I’m going to make this one for dinner tonight. I have made pear, gorgonzola, walnuts type salads for years, but never had one made with figs and pistachios. I’m excited for dinner now! (I haven’t even had lunch yet!) Great summer dinner post Shanna.

  14. Shanna, I love pizza! Leftover pizza, whether heated or not, is hard to resist. I hope your garden is doing well. Do you have many peppers this summer?

    1. Kiyo, We are on the same pizza page! The hubby loves his cold. I pop mine in the handy-dandy toaster oven until bubbly. MMMMM. Our garden flopped in terms of many veggies that have previously been successful, but green peppers, a variety of very spicy chiles, banana peppers, tomatoes and eggplants have come to fruition in small amounts. Some of them make their way onto our pizzas!

  15. In my mind pizza has not season, summer, spring… I’m always in when pizza comes out from the oven! Such an interesting combination of flavours Shanna! Hope the kids are doing well, I’m sure they appreciated the pizza you made!

  16. A veggie pizza is great this time of the year with all the garden produce. I use capers in lots of dishes but hadn’t thought to put them on pizza…must try.

  17. RRRRRgh, how did I miss this post??? I love love this recipe and wish I would have seen it before I picked the last of our figs and used them! What a lovely imaginative flair you have with your cooking!

  18. What a delicious meal! The fresh garden pizza is definitely ideal for the summer season. My fiance and I are trying to eat better these days, such as eating more salads with each of our meals–will have to try out this salad recipe! Thanks for sharing, Shanna!

    1. Thanks, Ada! 🙂 Summer is a fun time to enjoy lots of different salads. It’s amazing how you can explore what’s seasonal, through it in a bowl with some great flavors and have a new taste experience each time.

  19. Hi Shanna,

    Have you re-customized your blog within the last few months? It looks slightly different – in a good way, it looks pretty snazzy. Anyway, I am writing to ask for your help. I have decided to start on writing more posts about children’s nutrition and healthy recipes that I believe children will accept and help them gain enough nutrients they require in growth. However, obviously, I don’t have any kids, only cousins and a few family’s friends-children. Therefore, I was wondering whether, when you have got the time, you could possibly review the posts I write about the topics I had described above and point me out to the right direction since obviously you would be the perfect candidate for doing that, being knowledged in nutrition AND having young children. Here’s a link to my latest post:

    Thanks a lot Shanna,

    And I am coming to the States in late August – Massachusetts,



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