Summer Squash Pizza
Summer Squash Pizza
Well, we have finally hit full on tomato season the last couple of weeks here in NE Tennessee and I have been taking advantage: tomato-caprese pie, pasta with fresh tomatoes, caprese salad with burrata, panzanella, and the list goes on. Hearing this, you would expect for me to offer up a tomato recipe this week…I fully intended to, but then, as often happens when browsing my favorite food sites, I saw something shiny and it became the recipe that I MUST MAKE NOW! Yes, this is how my food/ingredient/recipe crazed mind works…Over the years I have made a few recipes from Smitten Kitchen with good results, but it is not one of my go-to sites, so when I saw this pizza topping (I have been thinking about pizza a lot lately) on another site, I knew that I must try it. I love new ways to use veggies, plus pizza; win, win, so follow my brand of crazy this week and try summer squash in a new and exciting way.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for fingertips
- 1 recipe pizza dough (below) or about a 2/3 volume of my lazy fitted-to-your-schedule favorite or your favorite, whichever it may be
- 2 1/2 pounds (about 5 small-medium or 3 large) zucchini or other summer squash, trimmed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 cups (8 ounces) coarsely grated gruyere cheese
- 2 to 3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
- 2 cups minus 1 tablespoon (250 grams) all-purpose or bread flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons (5 grams) instant or active dry yeast
- A heaped 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 2/3 cups (150 grams) room temperature water
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until well blended, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Continue using instructions above.
Heat your oven to 500°F with a rack in the center. Brush either 1 13×18-inch rimmed half-sheet pan or 2 9×13-inch quarter-sheet pans (as I do) with olive oil. Divide your dough in half and use oiled fingertips to pull, stretch, nudge and press the dough across the bottom of the pan. The dough will be thin and imperfect; just try to get it even. If holes form, just pinch them together.
Use a food processor with a grater attachment or the large holes of a box grater to grate the zucchini. In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini and salt. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes (more, if you have the time), until the zucchini has wilted and released its water. Drain the zucchini in a colander and then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible, a fistful at a time. Back in the large bowl (wiped out if still wet), toss the zucchini with the gruyere shreds, being sure to break up any clumps of zucchini. Taste the mixture; it should be seasoned enough from the salt, but you can add more, plus ground pepper or pepper flakes if desired.
Spread the zucchini mixture over the dough(s), going all the way to the edges of the pan and piling it a bit thicker at the edges, where it will brown first. Sprinkle messily with the bread crumbs.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is golden. Remove from oven, cut into squares and dig in.
Stop what you’re doing. Dinner tonight is the very best kind there is: it has five ingredients including the ones to make the pizza dough. It’s seasonal, which means you can use it to decimate your CSA pile-up. And it doesn’t care what else you had in mind; recipes like this exist to disrupt the best-laid meal plans and that’s my favorite thing about them. It is, in fact, pretty much the only thing I want out of any dish, for it, at least for a time to be the thing you have to eat next because now nothing else will do.