Zucchini-Crusted Pizza

PIZZA UNEXPECTED

For a summer, about 4 years ago, I lived on a farm in rural Mendocino County. It was a dreamlike time in my life; warm days and nights, a river to swim in after a long day of farm labor, and a cool 100-year-old barn to hide in when you didn’t want anyone to find you. While the property was nearly 1,000 aces we only used about 2 acres for vegetable and berry production, and those 2 acres were incredibly prolific. I ate raspberries until my stomach hurt and we had a cellar of ripe heirloom tomatoes we could not can fast enough. 

And then there was the summer squash. Talk to most farmers or avid vegetable gardeners and they will tell you that often squash plants begin the season as a blessing - Tender! Versatile! Delicious! But then things change, and as the months go on the plants keep producing. Suddenly you’ve grilled squash, roasted it, made ratatouille, added a flash of basil or mint or a yogurt sauce to mix it up, and then you’re not sure you can eat it anymore. And while you may not be there just yet, it is only June after all!, soon you’re going to thank your lucky stars for squash pizza crust.

That’s right! Did you know you can make delicious, pizza crust from this easy to grow backyard staple? After shredding your zucchini or summer squash you want to make sure you remove as much moisture as possible. On the farm we had an innovative method – put the salted squash in a clean, sealed, pillowcase and stick in your washing machine on the spin cycle. After all that high speed swirling, the moisture is gone! If you prefer your washing machine veggie free, simply salt the shredded squash, let it sit for about 10 min, stick between clean kitchen towels and squeeze out all the moisture.

Here is a recipe from the wonderful Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

Zucchini-Crusted Pizza
olive oil and flour for the pan
2 c. (packed) grated summer squash or zucchini (with some salt to help drain)
2 eggs, beaten
¼ flour
½ c. grated mozzarella
½ c. grated parmesan
optional: couple pinches of your favorite herbs!
2 Tbs. olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400?. Generously oil a 10-inch pie pan and coat lightly with flour.
2. Combine squash, eggs, flour, cheese, herbs and 1 Tbs. of olive oil in a bowl and mix well.
3. Spread onto your prepared pie pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. About halfway through baking, spread with remaining Tbs. of olive oil.
4. Remove from oven and after its set for about 10 min, use a spatuala to losen the curst from pan so it wont break later.
5. Top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake at 400 until it’s heated through. Enjoy!