I love all summer squash, especially golden zucchini. I love the change of scenery it gives from regular green zucchini. This is the time of year when summer squash seem to take up the farmer’s market tables and that work’s fine for me. Squash is so versatile and will work as a substitute in some way for just about any vegetable, not to mention it is so “stuffable”. We’ll get to that in a minute. Zucchini also has more potassium than a banana..that might explain how zucchini bread became so popular for breakfast.
Today I’m sharing a super quick recipe. It is a recipe that is perfect to bring to a summer gathering. One that will get everyone talking, one that people will ask for the recipe, and one that you may be ashamed to say, for it is so easy! I have found even if people refuse saying, “I don’t like zucchini”, after all the oohs and ahhs, they usually end up having a slice…or two!
Zucchini Pizza: This is one of those recipes that if you blink you may miss it! Depending on the size of the zucchini (green, golden, or even a squash), 1 large or 2 small will be used. Start by using a vegetable peeler to peel off strips of the zucchini, skin and all, into a bowl. I have my mighty veggie peeler ready for his workout.. Simply rotate the zucchini as you use the peeler. Peel the entire zucchini. (Save the stem to freeze for vegetable stock!) Using a paper towel, simply pat dry the zucchini peelings. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Next, the shortcut cheater, 1 roll refrigerated pizza dough (told ya this was an easy one!) Sprinkle some corn meal onto a cookie sheet (like making calzones calzones) Roll out the pizza dough onto the sheet. (I always end up having “overflow” on the edges, so I cut off the over hanging sides, roll it into a snake and make a border for the long sides.) Using a rubber spatula, spread 1 1/2 cups of ricotta cheese onto the dough. Spread 1/2 cup of ricotta at a time to avoid tearing the dough. Sprinkle your choice of seasonings onto the dough, I like to use Italian seasoning, black pepper, and garlic powder. Spread the zucchini peelings onto the seasoned dough. Bake 10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan (or mozzarella) cheese. I’m adding a few sun dried tomatoes to half. (optional). Bake 8-10 minutes longer.
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: Using the basic ricotta base, think about how simply changing the seasonings, cheese and any toppings would change the “pizza”. Mexican? Taco seasoning (Taco seasoning) or chili powder, jalapenos, and cheddar cheese. Greek? Feta cheese, cumin, oregano, and black olives. Want more flavor? Season the ricotta with ranch seasoning and add crispy bacon. What’s your favorite pizza toppings? Use them! For that remaining ricotta cheese, spread some onto toast and drizzle with balsamic vinegar for a nice side for a salad or use in your favorite pasta dish!
Are you still staring at a bunch more zucchini in your vegetable drawer? Remember how “stuffable” they are? They can easily be steamed, scooped (adding to filling) and stuffed with leftovers–taco filling, stuffed bell peppers (simply cut up pepper), dirty rice or jambalaya (stretch it further by adding in tomatoes and corn) and baked for 5-10 minutes.
FOOD FUN: Still can’t get enough of zucchini? There is still time to make the Annual Zucchini Festival in Obetz, Ohio, August 27-30, and it is free! You can vote for the biggest and the smallest zucchini or the most unusual and the best dressed….yep, dressed, and I don’t mean as in a dressing! Get the picture? Think of that picture the next time you reach for a zucchini, how would you “dress” yours?