Monday, September 2, 2013

squash blossom pizza

its been awhile since my last post, but i am bringing the blog back with this beautiful recipe for squash blossom pizza. the blossoms from zucchini are so vibrant and fiery in color, and they will make your pizza look like a masterpiece.

ive always wanted to buy squash blossoms, but the only way i had heard of them being cooked was stuffed with ricotta and fried. last summer i had the opportunity to try them baked on a pizza, and i couldn't wait to try it myself!

i am trying to find my perfect whole wheat pizza dough. for this recipe i used smitten's overnight recipe - white whole wheat flour was swapped for all of the all purpose, which needed some extra liquid to make for a springy dough.

squash blossoms are very delicate, but easy to prepare for this pizza. rinse them gently under cool water, and then look to the inside of the flower.

depending on the type of blossom you buy, it will have either a pistil or stamens to remove from inside. simply pinch them off with your fingers.

cut the blossoms in half lengthwise, and they are ready for pizza making.

slice your zucchini and tomatoes into thin pieces. a mandolin works nicely here if you have one, but otherwise a chefs knife will do the job as well.
roll or press out the dough with your fingers on a parchment-lined, olive oil-ed pan. layer the toppings on: zucchini, tomatoes, then blossoms on top. if you like, a sprinkling of coarsely grated parmesan cheese on top is a nice salty accompaniment.

ricotta is a common filling for these delicate flowers, making them the perfect choice for this pizza. just drop spoonfuls of strained ricotta all over the pizza where dough is exposed.  
bake the pizza until the bottom crust is browned and the cheese melts.
let cool slightly, cover with the chopped basil and slice into pieces.

squash blossom pizza with zucchini, tomatoes, and ricotta
makes 1 - 9" x 13" pizza


1 recipe overnight pizza dough, at room temp (see recipe below or sub your favorite crust)

1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
1 medium tomato, sliced thinly
5-6 squash blossoms, rinsed and halved
1 cup ricotta cheese, strained
1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano, optional
6 large basil leaves, chopped - for garnish
salt and pepper, to taste


1.   preheat oven to 450 degrees F. grease a large baking sheet -about 9"x13"- with olive oil.

2.   spread out pizza dough evenly on the baking sheet. layer on zucchini and tomato slices, followed by the squash blossoms on top.

3.   place spoonfuls of ricotta cheese all over pizza, where the dough is exposed. take care to not cover all of the blossoms. if using, sprinkle grated parmesan on top of pizza.

4.   bake for about 10-15 minutes until crust is lightly browned on the bottom, and the cheese has melted.

5.   sprinkle chopped basil over the whole pizza, slice and serve!

pizza dough based on smitten kitchen's overnight recipe:
makes dough for 1 - 9"x13" pizza


3/4 cup warm water, divided
1/4 plus 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
1 pinch of sugar
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
~1 tsp olive oil, to coat bowl


1.   start off by pouring a half cup of the warm water into a large mixing bowl. (use a stand mixer if you have one)

2.   sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over the warm water and let sit for 10-15 minutes. the yeast should look foamy with plenty of bubbles.

3.   add in the flour and salt and mix with a spoon until a dough starts to form. add the remaining 1/4 cup water slowly, stopping when the dough is soft, but not super sticky.

4.   knead the dough for 5 minutes on low speed in a mixer, or for 8 minutes by hand. once the dough is smooth, transfer to a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil.

5.   cover the bowl of dough, and let rise in the refrigerator overnight. it should rise for at least 8 hours.

6.   when you are ready to make the pizza, take the dough out about 30 minutes early to let it come to room temperature.
-   for fresh tomato slices on pizza: blot the slices with a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid that could make your pizza soggy. 
-   if using fresh ricotta, strain it in a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. straining the ricotta will get rid of any excess liquid that might seep onto the pizza.


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