Zucchini Pizza

March 20, 2009 By: erik Category: Food 1,436 views

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Tomatoes with BasilToday I experimented a bit with the pizza toppings on our seems-to-be-tradition-now Friday pizza. I went (gasp!) vegetarian! I thought I’d try some zucchini (that’s courgette to you French-loving Brits) because there just aren’t enough z’s with just “pizza” and “mozzarella”. The result was pretty good, but not without mistakes.

Not having any real clue as to what I was doing, I figured that the zucchinis might need a little more time to cook than the pizza itself, so I placed them on a tray by themselves, sprinkled with a little extra virgin olive oil, and placed them in the oven for 15 minutes (our oven sucks, so your time should probably be shorter).Zucchini pre-bake

Raw zucchini pre-bake.

Zucchini post-bake

Baked zucchini, ready for topping my pizza.

Recently, partly because of the extreme lameness of my oven and partly because I like a good crispy crust, I’ve taken to precooking my crust in the oven for 7 or 8 minutes before adding the toppings.

Pizza Crust Raw

Raw crust in the oven. I made it a little too big for the pan, so there were some extra folds.

Pizza Crust Done

Crispy crust out of the oven. I probably overcooked it a little bit.

Now it’s time for the toppings!

Zucchini on Pizza

Some tomato sauce and the baked zucchini.

Tomatoes on Pizza

Five slices from one luscious tomato.

Tomatoes with Basil

Some dried basil sprinkled on top. I can’t seem to find any fresh basil these days.

Mozzeralla on Pizza

Grated mozzarella with a little more sprinkled basil for extra pizazz. (Yay, more z’s!)

Finished Pizza

The finished product.

Unfortunately, the main mistake I made was getting a little too hasty with the final baking time. Our oven, about which you know my opinion, tends to start billowing smoke after more than 10 minutes or so of operation, and I chickened out and took the pizza out too early. The mozzarella was barely melted and parts of the tomato were still only lukewarm. The zucchini, in the end, added almost no flavor whatsoever. The dominant flavors were the tomato, mozzarella, and basil. I think I’ll drop the ‘chini next time.

But the result was quite delicious and summery, just what was needed on this, the first day of Spring.

  • Where did you get mozzarella?

  • Just a regular package of “for pizza” grated mozzarella. Nothing special or fresh or anything. I’d love to make one with fresh basil and mozzarella one day.

  • Fresh mozzarella doesn’t actually work that well for pizza — it contains a great deal of water and doesn’t melt terribly well. Gorgonzola triumphs once again.

  • tip re the zucchini.. if you cut them wafer thin you can put them straight on without cooking first (just thinking about saving you time you know)… but if you think they didn’t add any flavour then you can probably ignore all that…

    and also a question: do you always pre bake the base?? I never do, but then looking at the photos it looks like you make a thicker base than me…

  • My pizza dough making skills are pretty much all self-taught. The prebaking was something I came up with because I had a few that weren’t cooked all the way through. I usually make about this much base.

  • Basil is my favorite section of my herb garden. I’ve never moved them inside for the winter, but Paul Nystrom did this winter with success. You’ll have to hit him up for tips so you can enjoy your fresh Basil year round.

  • Hilltop

    If you keep them inside with some good light basil will survive through the winter, but you won’t have any usable leaves. I think if you want eat fresh basil through the winter you’ll need to keep a lamp on them, unless you have a window positioned for all day and direct sun. I blame Michael for my lack of basil this winter.

  • Sounds like you’ve got quite the grow house, Hilltop. Have you gone hydroponic yet?