Zucchini & Zucchini Flower Pizza


Although we do not have a huge vegetable garden here in Umbria, the month of July always brings a surplus of zucchini and I find myself going through my recipe files daily trying to come up with new ideas to use up all of our zucchini bounty. Between the round zucchini I stuff, the regular long zucchini that I fry, grill, stuff, or saute, I find we are picking and eating zucchini almost daily. Then there are also the zucchini flowers…………. Although I could eat fried zucchini flowers daily, I realize that would not be great for my health or my waistline! One day when we decided to fire up the pizza oven, I picked a couple of baby zucchini from the garden along with a handful of gorgeous bright zucchini flowers for my pizza. I skipped the tomato sauce, brushing the crust simply with olive oil before adding my toppings and ended up with a delicious, light tasting pizza. Because zucchini are not the most exciting tasting vegetable, I added a little sauteed pancetta, and used some Taleggio cheese along with the mozzarella. Taleggio is one of my favorite Italian cheeses and has a great flavor, and is creamy smooth. All the pizza needed was some cracked black pepper and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and I had a great summer pizza I’d definitely make again!

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Zucchini & Zucchini Flower Pizza

Celebrating zucchini by using both the flowers and sliced zucchini on this light summer pizza.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Balls Pizza Dough (8 Ounces Each)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Diced Pancetta
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
  • 4 Small Zucchini, Washed, Trimmed, & Thinly Sliced
  • 16 to 20 Zucchini Flowers (Depending On Size), Stemmed, & Stamens Removed
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 4 Ounces Taleggio Cheese
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Coarsely Ground Sea Salt
  • Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
  • 3/4 Cup Pine Nuts
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to highest temperature.
  2. In a frying pan, saute the diced pancetta until lightly browned.
  3. Add the garlic, mix well, and cook another minute or two.
  4. Roll out one ball of dough to about 12 to 14 inch diameter circle and place on a pizza pell or baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
  5. Lightly brush the top of the dough with olive oil, and scatter 1/4 of the shredded mozzarella, then 1 ounce of the Taleggio across the top.
  6. Evenly place the sliced zucchini, pancetta/garlic, and zucchini flowers on top of the cheese.
  7. Sprinkle the top with black pepper, salt, pine nuts, and red pepper flakes if using.
  8. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the crust lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Continue to make the remaining four pizzas in the same fashion.