summer squash pizza.

In case you were like me and didn’t know, zucchini pizza is definitely a thing. A very easy, very delicious dish that is oh-so-perfect for late summer evenings. A side note: how is late summer already?! Wasn’t it just Memorial Day? I suppose that old adage is true, time really does speed up as we get older. But I digress. Today’s recipe is absolutely perfect for your overwhelming supply of fresh zucchini and yellow squash. If you have a garden, I’m sure you’re overloaded with it. If you’re like me and get yours at the farmer’s market, well, they are practically giving them away! This is the perfect use for them. Hello, it’s pizza!

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I used a mix of yellow squash and zucchini, but you can use all yellow, all green, or a combo like I did — whatever is easiest for you. I used gruyere, as the nuttiness adds so much flavor to this pizza topping. If you can’t find gruyere or want a less expensive option, I would use swiss. I would stay away from fresh or packaged mozzarella, as it’ll be a little too bland for this recipe. If you have any fresh herbs in your garden like chives, oregano or basil, go ahead and add them! I particularly think fresh basil torn over the top of the cooked pizza would be divine.

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The squash and cheese mixture should be a little heavier at the edges, where the oven will brown it first. I noticed that I should have rotated the pizza halfway during the cooking process, and will do so next time for a more even all over cook. If the pizza seems a little limp, it may be because you didn’t squeeze out enough moisture from the zucchini before mixing in the cheese; make sure all excess moisture is removed.

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This is before going into the oven… sprinkle with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, if using.

Cut after removing from the oven, and serve immediately. This is also delicious at room temperature or even straight from the fridge; making it ideal for leftovers or for easy entertaining!

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summer squash pizza.
slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

ingredients
2 pounds of zucchini or summer squash of your choice (about four small/medium squash), shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic gloves, crushed and finely minced
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups gruyere cheese
3 tablespoons whole wheat panko
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1 pizza dough recipe (recipe below)

pizza dough recipe
2 cups minus 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
2/3 cup tepid water

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, yeast and salt until well combined. Add the water, and mix for about 30 seconds, using a wooden spoon or your hands, until well combined. Cover, and let rest for 2 hours, or until the dough has more than doubled in size.  Proceed with recipe below.

directions
Shred the zucchini and yellow squash with a food processor fitted with the grating blade or grate on the large hole box grater. Add to a colander nested inside of a mixing bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes or longer, tossing occasionally. With a clean dish towel, add the squash to it and drain well.

Add the squeezed squash to a large bowl.

Add the gruyere, crushed red pepper, salt and minced garlic to the drained squash and mix to combine.

Spread the tablespoon of olive oil on a half sheet baking pan (9×13) and with oiled fingertips, add the pizza dough. Work the dough with your fingers (it will be delicate) into a thin, even piece, nudging the dough towards the ends of the pan. If the dough tears (mine did), simply pinch together. An even shape is not necessary or easily achieved, you just want to ensure the dough to be an even thickness.

Top the dough with the squash and cheese mixture, piling the mixture a little thicker at the edges, as it will brown first. Sprinkle panko and parmesan, if using, all over the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking after 12, and rotating the pan halfway if needed. Remove from pan, and cut into squares, serving immediately.

Serves 4-6.

*Please use organic/local vegetables and cheese as appropriate* 

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