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Pizza With Figs, Mozzarella, and Goat's Milk Feta

Even in California, fig season doesn't last forever, and the specimens I was picking up last week had already lost their figgy luster. The best way to use less-than-perfect figs is to cook them. Not only does this drive off some of their moisture, concentrating their flavor, but it also converts some of their more complex sugars to simple sugars that are sweeter than their precursors. Your figs become jammier and all around tastier. This works especially well on a pizza cooked in a hot oven because that bite of cheese and drizzle of olive oil can go straight on top with the figs. More

Pizza With Sausage and Radicchio

The first time I had radicchio on a pizza was about a decade ago in the old converted barn that my good friend and food writer Deborah Krasner calls home, up in Putney, Vermont. I still remember her exact words, because I didn't believe them at the time: "The leaves become just wonderfully sweet when they're roasted and charred," she said. In what was, at that point, my very limited experience, charring things always made them more bitter, not less. Luckily, she was right, I was wrong, and deliciousness ensued. More

Top This: Arugula Salad Foldover (à la Simmzy's)

Shimmering sunshine and a lazy ocean breeze drifts through Simmzy's open walled dining room. One whiff of the sea salty air—plus a pint—will draw anyone into the endless summer that is Long Beach's Naples Island. That laid back attitude stops at the glass window into the kitchen. Each dish is a carefully calibrated assemblage of otherwise casual ingredients. On the pizza menu, the Arugula Salad Foldover stands out as the best of the bunch. More

Top This: Eggplant Parmesan Pizza (à la Pitfire Artisan Pizza)

Pitfire Artisan Pizza's seasonal Eggplant Parmesan pie may sound like heavy comfort food, but the LA pizzeria takes a lighter approach to the hefty nightshade. At the base of the pie are translucent sheets of grilled eggplant, aubergine skin peeking out from beneath the blanket of blistered cheese and sweet cherry tomatoes. Executive Chef Andrew Lakin walks us though the making of this summery pizza. More

Top This: Cavolfiori (à la Stella 34)

Located high above midtown on the top floor of Macy's department store, Stella 34 serves Neapolitan pizza that's worth talking about. The Cavolfiori is a white pie with a base of creamy cauliflower purée, strewn with thinly sliced Meyer lemon and roasted cauliflower florets, and finished with golden breadcrumbs for texture. Although your kitchen may not have the same stunning view of the Empire State Building as the Stella 34 dining room, you can still recreate the restaurant's Cavolfiori pie at home. More

Top This: The Hellboy (à la Paulie Gee's)

Three years ago, Paulie Giannone told then-music supervisor Mike Kurtz he could apprentice at his newly opened pizzeria, Paulie Gee's. Mike told Paulie, "Next week, when I come in, I'm going to bring my condiment." It wasn't long before the two pizzaioli figured out that Mike's chile and vinegar-spiked honey and Paulie's Dellboy pizza (a salty, meaty, piquant pizza made with spicy sopressata, fresh mozz, and parmigiano reggiano) were a match made in pizza heaven. And that's how the aptly named Hellboy, a must-order pie on the Paulie Gee's menu, was born. More

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