This is one of those times where I need you to trust me.
I’ll admit that zucchini pizza does not have the same mouth-watering ring to it as most things that you find around here. But, I am ready to bribe you with cheese sauce and pesto if you will give this a go because I can promise you that vegetables have never been so exciting.
Next to sweet corn, zucchini is my very favorite summer vegetable. But even though I buy a staggering number each summer, the idea of piling it atop pizza was not original.
One of our favorite pizza joints had the incredible idea of throwing roasted zucchini onto pizza and I have been obsessed with it for roughly three years now.
I decided it was time for me to come up with an at-home version and I have to say that I might just love this pizza more than its inspiration.
Normally, I am a marinara girl all the way, but I decided to give it a whirl with this quick, parmesan cream sauce and WOW! It is so good, and not overly rich, which is my usual complaint with white pizzas.
Our pizza is dotted with pesto - homemade if you’ve got it - fresh mozzarella, whipped ricotta, and roasted zucchini. You want to roast the zucchini just a few minutes shy of ideal because it will finish cooking when you bake the pizza.
I love how this pizza looks so green and healthy; you would almost forget that we have three different kinds of cheese on here.
GET IN MY MOUTH.
This recipe is, admittedly, a little high maintenance, but we have options.
Ideally, you would roast up a whole bunch of zucchini the day before and use the leftovers on this pizza. Or, you could use store-bought pizza dough. Make it as simple or as complicated as you want, just please do not use pre-made sauce; it’s just not the same.
I bake all of our pizzas on this Emile Henry stone and we LOVE it.
Due to the heaviness of the toppings, you are going to want to give the pizza a few minutes to cool so that the cheese can firm up before you attempt to slice it.
Pizza night never looked more summery. And those tiny browned bits of sauce? Living for them.
ROASTED ZUCCHINI PESTO PIZZA
makes two 12-inch pizzas
for the roasted zucchini
2 medium zucchini, diced (approximately 4 cups)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
Cook’s Note: You can roast the zucchini just before you make the pizza, or you can prep it in advance and refrigerate for several days. It does not need to be hot when placed on the pizza.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat the zucchini in the olive oil and salt.
Spread the zucchini evenly over the pan and roast for 25-30 minutes; until the edges are deep golden in color.
for the pizza
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
pizza dough (homemade - this recipe makes 2 crusts) or store-bought)
extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup basil pesto
2/3 cup whipped whole milk ricotta*
1 cup fresh mozzarella balls
* Cook’s Note: I whipped my ricotta for this pizza, but you could easily skip this step. To whip your ricotta, just add the desired amount to the work bowl of your food processor and pulse on high speed for three minutes; until very smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place pizza stone in the oven to preheat while you prepare the sauce.
Place butter in a small saucepan and set over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour, forming a paste. Reduce heat to medium and cook, whisking or stirring constantly for 1 minute to cook off any flour flavor. Whisk in salt and milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in parmesan.
Coat your pizza stone with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil.
Work your pizza crusts into two, 12-inch circles and place one crust onto your hot pizza stone. Ladle an ample layer of the prepared sauce onto the crust.
Use a teaspoon to dot the pizza with the pesto and ricotta. Sprinkle with mozzarella balls and roasted zucchini and place the pizza in the oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes; until the cheese has melted and the crust is deep golden brown.
Allow the pizza to cool for approximately five minutes before slicing and serving.
Prepare and bake the second pizza just as before.