Boy oh boy, do I have dinner for you tonight.
Hush! No questions yet!! First, you must drink wine. It’s Friday, after all.
That’s better. Now, sit back and relax while I entice you with this cheesy zucchini masterpiece.
First things first: get yo’ dough.
I really like the recipe I have for pizza dough, but since I was at work all day I decided to just pick up some whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s. This stuff is great and only, like, $1.99! If follow my lead and cheat like me, it’s important to take the dough out of the fridge about twenty minutes before you plan to use it so it has some time to warm up.
The rest of the ingredients you will need for success:
Zucchini! They’re everywhere! My favorite way to eat zucchini will always be in a sweet bread form, but this pizza is definitely a close second. And, let it be noted that for this recipe I actually only ended up using two of the three zucchini you see here.
So first things first, wash the zucchini and then GRATE them! Yep, you heard me—grate ’em!
I heard about the grating zucchini idea from an article on Babble a few days ago. How interesting!
Once you’re through grating, press down with a paper towel to soak up some of the zucchini-water (zucchini-water?).
I also like to just take the zucchini in my hands and squeeze over the sink to get out all the zucchini-water that I can. Plus, who doesn’t like to see bright green liquid dripping from their fingers?
Put one cup of ricotta cheese in a bowl.
I don’t buy part-skim ricotta because I don’t like the way it tastes. But you could if you really wanted to….it doesn’t make much difference. When it comes to cheeses, I say go big or go home!
Now, add two minced garlic cloves and a pinch of sea salt and pepper to the cheese and stir well to combine.
It tastes like a deliciously cheesy cloud. Mmmmm
Set that aside. In another bowl, combine the zucchini plus two cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Stir and then add a pinch of sea salt and pepper to that as well.
Set all that business aside now and start to work on the dough.
I lack talent in the pizza dough throwing competition, so my crusts always end up looking a bit rustic, if you will. Ain’t no thang!
Tonight I felt like forming a rectangle, so I did.
Remember to either dust cornmeal or spray your baking sheet with cooking spray so there won’t be any stick action happening. That’s the LAST thing you want!
Spread the ricotta cheese gently on the dough.
Top with the zucchini mixture.
Since I like some spice in my life, I like to do a little of this right here:
Then bake that sucker! I baked this guy at 450 for about twelve minutes. I never use a timer because in culinary school we didn’t have them. It sucked at the time but forced me to always be aware of what was in the oven and learn to bake things based on “feel” and not on time. If you ever ask a chef how long something takes to cook they will simply tell you “cook it until it’s done”. And that’s that.
Ain’t it purdy? I love the bright green color. This would also be great cut into tiny squares and served as appetizers for a dinner party.
I never have dinner parties though (anyone want to come over for dinner? please? friends?) so I cut this into HUGE squares and proceeded to stuff my face.
+ vino vino
I’m in my happy place right now and it feel so gooooooooooooooooooood.
Makes one pizza (square, “rustic” or pie shaped)
2 large zucchinis
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
red pepper flakes
pizza dough: either regular or whole wheat.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Either dust cornmeal on a baking sheet (or pizza stone–even better!) or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Grate the zucchinis and press with paper towels to soak up the liquid. Mix the zucchini with the mozzarella cheese and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and garlic. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Work the pizza dough into whatever shape your heart desires. Spread the ricotta cheese on top and then top with the zucchini mixture. Add some pepper flakes if you like spice in your life. Reduce oven temperature to 450 and bake pizza for about 12 minutes, or until the crust begins to turn golden and the cheese has started to bubble.
Cool, slice and stuff your face.