It's the unexpected topping your summer pizza has been missing.


People have strong opinions when it comes to pizza toppings. There are the toppings that most Americans generally deem acceptable, barring dietary restrictions: pepperoni, mushrooms, extra cheese. And then there are those that a not-so-silent majority tend to relegate to the no-fly list, like pineapple. But regardless of your stance on pineapple's place on pizza, there's no denying that pizza provides an exciting opportunity to experiment with what's in season, and in the summer months, that means corn.

This time of year, corn is a real heavy hitter. It's easy to come by, and tucked between the heirloom tomatoes and whole okra at your area farmers' market, it's both alluring and approachable. There are dozens of ways to enjoy corn too: incorporate it into salads; stir it into salsas; roast it in the oven; char it on the grill. Regardless of how you're preparing it, corn adds a fresh, sweet crunch to mealtime that just can't be replicated by anything else. And it's that inimitable burst of crunchy sweetness that makes corn the perfect pizza topping too.

Sheet Pan Pizza with Corn, Tomatoes, and Sausage
Credit: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Before the anti-pineapple-on-pizza crowd pipes up with protests about how corn, like the tropical fruit, simply does not belong on dough, hear me out. Even when baked down so that its acidity is tempered, pineapple tends to make its presence known.  That's why it's a standout ingredient in so many of our recipes, from Pineapple Pepper Slaw to our famous Hummingbird Cake. But that's also, I imagine, why it's such a polarizing player in the pizza-topping game.

Corn, on the other hand, is a true team player, quietly complimenting everything around it, rather than demanding to be the MVP. With corn included in the same bite, grape tomatoes taste sweeter and basil's brightness shines. Corn also humbly picks up the slack for its fellow pizza toppings: melty cheese, for instance, gets a welcome crunch.

So whether you're pro pineapple or entirely against it, next time you've got a surplus of corn, sprinkle a handful of kernels atop your pizza. Your tastebuds will thank you…and may even convince you to give pineapple another whirl.