What’s better in summer than (1) fresh local peaches or (2) freshly harvested Hatch, New Mexico, green chiles?
In a stroke of pizza genius, the Cane Rosso restaurants are combining both.
It’s amazing nobody thought of it before now.
Texas peaches and New Mexico chiles go together on a pizza with prosciutto and basil — not exactly a native Hatch Valley dish, but definitely a clever idea.
The mozzarella-and-herb-mascarpone cheese combo gives the pizza its name: “Peaches and Cream.”
Usually, the peach season thins out before Hatch season starts.
But this year, heavy rains along the Rio Grande north of El Paso brought a bumper early crop of peppers, and several restaurants and supermarkets have launched their Hatch menus or festivals.
“It’s for sure a Texas summer pie,” Cane Rosso executive Lee Hunzinger wrote by email.
The restaurants have been serving a peach dessert pizza while thinking up a savory version.
They combined the peaches with the Hatch peppers and herb mascarpone from a past year’s elote pizza. It worked.
He described the pizza as “creamy, sweet, salty and [with] a bit of heat.”
Besides the Cane Rosso peach-pepper special, cousin restaurant Zoli’s Pizza is offering a Hatch pepperoni-and-basil pizza with habanero honey called the “Stinger.”
(Zoli’s Meat Church “Holy Cow” brisket pizza is featured this month on a Cooking Channel episode of “Food Paradise” titled “Pizza Parlor Perfection.”)
Cane Rosso, an Italian restaurant with pastas and Neapolitan-style pizzas, is open daily for lunch or brunch and dinner; 815 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-922-9222, or 200 N. East St., Arlington, 817-533-3120, canerosso.com.
Zoli’s Pizza, with a broader menu of crisp-crust pizzas, pastas and sandwiches, is open daily for lunch and dinner at 3501 Hulen St., Fort Worth, 817-402-0050; zolispizza.com.
More Hatch chile choices
The specials are ready for the 25th annual Hatch chile festival at Blue Mesa Grill, 612 Carroll St., Fort Worth.
Blue Mesa, a Southwestern-style restaurant, features Hatch chiles rellenos with chicken or shrimp and Hatch steak tacos, along with Hatch brownies with cajeta.
For takeout, Blue Mesa sells $30 or $55 takeout Hatch dinners plus $7 pans of Hatch brownies.
The annual buffet dinner celebrating all things Hatch will be Aug. 19, with Hatch-barbecue glazed brisket, pork and salmon, plus chicken piccata with Hatch butter, Hatch fish stew, rellenos and tacos ($24); bluemesagrill.com.
▪ The 25th annual Central Market Hatch Chile Festival consumes more than 165 tons of peppers in dozens of grocery items.
The hot food counter offers Hatch chicken rajas, Hatch tamales and Hatch sides; 4651 West Freeway, Fort Worth, or 1425 E. Southlake Blvd. Southlake; centralmarket.com.
▪ The Eatzi’s Market & Bakery locations have launched Hatch season, featuring items including Hatch turkey meatloaf, Hatch sausage pizzas, Hatch pimiento cheese and Hatch chicken salad; 1540 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, 817-945-9095, or 1200 Texas 114 West, Grapevine, 817-527-4007; eatzis.com.
▪ The Dallas-based El Fenix Mexican Restaurants in Fort Worth, Arlington, Burleson and Weatherford will launch their Hatch chile specials Aug. 16, including Hatch green chile chicken enchiladas ($11.39), Hatch cheese enchiladas ($10.49) and a Hatch chicken quesadilla ($10.25); elfenix.com.