The Crisper Whisperer: Zucchini and Pesto Pizza

I find myself suddenly a resident of London, where August means crisp 65-degree days and chilly nights instead of sticky, sandy, lingering afternoons on the Jersey shore. Because my lizard brain will forever associate a snap in the air with snappy new back-to-school clothes and the optimistic ambition of new beginnings, I've had an unusually industrious end to the summer. It's a good thing, because I'm having to relearn everything from how to tell time and temperature to what to call zucchini and eggplant at the farmers' market.

It's not exactly a hardship. Far from it. But while I'd like to think of myself as all about the shiny new adventures and total cultural immersion, I've noticed a funny countervailing trend in the dinners I've been cooking in our new kitchen. There's been a ton of pizza, two tons of pasta, and a volume of vegetables that would certainly have broken my kitchen scale if my kitchen scale had arrived yet. Ah, well. You can take the girl out of Jersey. It's a good thing a Jersey shore kitchen in August is a fine, fine place to be.

This pizza clearly originated in the mind of a Jersey girl. But now I can vouch for the fact that it tastes just as good no matter where you are—and no matter what you call a zucchini. Like many pizzas, it's a flexible recipe. Just make sure you slice the zucchini as thin as possible so it will be tender by the time the pizza is done.

About the author: Carolyn Cope is the voice behind the popular food blog Umami Girl. A recent transplant to London, she's trying her best to act nonchalant in the company of courgettes and aubergines. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

The Crisper Whisperer: Zucchini and Pesto Pizza

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About This Recipe

Yield:4
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
Special equipment:Pizza or half-sheet pan, pizza stone (optional), mandoline (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 ball pizza dough (homemade or purchased)
  • 1 cup of your (or my) favorite basil pesto, divided
  • 2 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced (a mandoline works wonders here)
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 20 oil-cured black olives, pitted

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 550°F (or as high as your oven will go up to 550°F), with a pizza stone if you have one. Prepare your pizza pan or baking sheet by brushing with the olive oil and sprinkling evenly with the cornmeal. Roll or stretch the dough to cover the surface of the pan.

  2. 2

    Slice the zucchini as thinly as possible, on a mandoline if you have one or with a very sharp knife. Place zucchini slices in a bowl and toss with half the pesto. Spread the remaining pesto evenly over the dough and top with overlapping slices of zucchini. Sprinkle the feta and olives overtop. Bake until the dough is cooked through and the zucchini is tender, 8 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness. Slice and serve hot or at room temperature.

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