Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Squash Pizza with Basil & Ricotta Salata

This is such a great pizza topping -- I've been known to make this pizza on a Friday night when the kids are out of town, then eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it is all gone. And yes, some of that pizza gets eaten cold out of the fridge. The best part is that a whole wheat pizza crust, low fat mozzarella, garlic and summer squash make for a relatively healthy pie.

My recipe is adapted from one I found years ago in a Williams-Sonoma catalogue (of all places!).
Their recipe, available online here, uses fancy kitchen equipment and specialty food products. Mine uses stuff most people have in their kitchens.

Summer Squash Pizza with Basil & Ricotta Salata

  • 1 small zucchini squash, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow squash, very thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 ball of pizza dough (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cupa of grated part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup of crumbled Ricotta Salata cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the squash slices with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, then thoroughly drain off any excess liquid.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the other two tablespoons of olive oil with the Parmesan cheese, garlic and dried basil.
  4. Sprinkle the cornmeal over a cutting board.
  5. Roll the dough ball out into a round or a rectangle, depending on your baking pan and how thick you like your pizza crust.
  6. Transfer the crust to a baking pan.
  7. Brush the pizza crust with the olive oil and Parmesan mixture.
  8. Sprinkle the crust with the Mozzarella cheese and top with the sliced squash.
  9. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
  10. Sprinkle the pizza with the Ricotta Salata, chopped fresh basil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Yield: 1 pizza
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Note that the ricotta that is used here is not the wet kind that comes in a plastic container with a lid. Ricotta Salata is a dry, salted cheese, traditionally made from sheep's milk, that is quite different from what most Americans think of as "ricotta". It is the pressed, salted, dried and aged version. I've been able to find it in the deli section at most groceries. It surprises me that this lovely cheese is somewhat unappreciated and underused -- I find the texture and not-overbearingly salty flavor to be perfect for salads, pasta and here, pizza.

This post is linked up over at Full Plate Thursday.


Alli Shircliff said...

Love how thinly sliced the zucchini are...looks so good!

Lynn said...

Thanks! For the most part, I am all about big bold flavors, but something about this combination of mild vegetables and cheese really appeals to me. I was very sad to finish off the leftovers at lunch today.

Mother Rimmy said...

I have three kinds of summer squash fresh from the farmers market waiting to make your recipe. Yum!

Lynn said...

More summer squash recipes coming! I made some great little fritters last night, but didn't photo because I didn't think they would be all that good.

Taste and Tell said...

Yes, I would definitely eat some of this for breakfast!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Lynn,
What a great Squash Pizza for us to try. We have a great Squash harvest from our garden with fresh squash everyday, your recipe will be delicious! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week. Hope you are having a great week end.
Miz Helen

Swathi said...

Delicious pizza with squash love riotta in there. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul hop

prolix said...

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