Cantaloupe and Sweet Ricotta Pizza.

Labor Day weekend. The inevitable three-day end to summer. It’s a sad adieu to the warm, long days of sunshine and BBQs and happiness, but on the other hand, it’s a welcome entrance to the cool, crisp days of fall, where the evenings are filled with ciders and sweaters and pumpkin-carving and the darkened colors of leaves on the ground. I’m not sure I could really choose which I love more: summer or fall.

Regardless, Labor Day weekend is the last hoorah, a weekend to celebrate the working citizens of America with a day off. Which means picnics. And usually, lots of them. (Unless you’re me this year, who has next to zero plans to leave the house until Tuesday morning when I have to go back to work. Hey, I’ve had an exhausting week. Six flights in five days? Are you kidding?) So, in celebration of Labor Day — even though I’m not even leaving my living room — I decided to make a perfect picnic pizza.

The first time I tasted a pizza made with cantaloupe was a few years ago in DC, when I was out to brunch at this amazing restaurant (whose name I can’t remember). I took my first bite and followed it up with a sip of mimosa, and I looked across the table at John. We immediately agreed that this was a pizza we needed to recreate at home. So, every few months or so since that day, we’ll be in the kitchen, cooking something that isn’t cantaloupe pizza, and we’ll swear that it’s on our list. We promise – we absolutely will make that pizza. Eventually.

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Yesterday morning, I woke up slowly. I made some coffee and hunkered down in the quietness of my empty house. John and his girlfriend are vacationing in Mexico and my other roommates were gone for the day. So I had the house to myself. I love my roommates, I really do, but there is something magical about having the house to myself and being able to do whatever I’d like to do without having to speak to a single soul. (And also, I can walk around without pants on. Win!) So, yesterday morning, coffee in hand, I decided it was finally time. I was going to attempt my hand at making Cantaloupe and Sweet Ricotta Pizza.

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Ingredients: Pizza dough (I made mine from scratch, but feel free to use whatever kind you’d like!) / 1 c. ricotta cheese / 2 tablespoons thick, raw honey (Mine came homegrown from a small family garden in the Lower 9th Ward!) / Sliced cantaloupe / Arugula / Salt / Optional: Prosciutto and pine nuts

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Directions: Spread the pizza dough across a lightly greased sheet. / Combine the honey, ricotta cheese and pinch of salt. / Top the dough with the honey and cheese mixture. / Add arugula and cantaloupe to taste. (And prosciutto and pine nuts if you’d like!) / Bake at 450˚F for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust has cooked through. / Enjoy… with a Labor Day mimosa! 

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