When I got home from work last night, it was much too dark for my liking... and much too cold. I needed comfort food, something I hadn't made in a while, that could be eaten while sitting in a comfy chair in my living room. Yes! Pizza! What's more comforting than pizza? Abso-freakin-lutely nothing, my friend. I could only think of one kind of pizza that would satisfy me. [insert a flashback/dream sequence a la Wayne's World here]
This past summer, one of my goals was to take advantage of the variety of fruits and vegetables in their respective seasons: strawberries in June, cherries in July, and squash in July and August. Not only is produce dirt cheap in peak season (no pun intended... except now, when I could delete it, I will proudly draw attention to it), but the quantity of it forced me to find more creative ways to cook and eat the foods beyond eating raw or roasting. My first squash adventure was a lemony zucchini goat cheese pizza first spotted at Smitten Kitchen. Not well-versed in squash or goat cheese, I was still pumped to try this because it just looked so darn good. And sounded so easy.
Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza
--makes one 12"ish pizza in round pan or fits to a quarter cookie sheet (9"x13")
1 batch pizza dough (make your own or use 1 package store bought mix, prepared... for space's sake, I'll do a pizza dough only post sometime in the future)
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped
1/2 medium yellow zucchini, cut into 1/8" slices (too thick and the squash won't roast quite as well)
1/2 medium green zucchini, sliced as the same as above
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450F and have a rack in the lowest possible position (this will ensure a crispy crust). Roll your pizza dough into a thin 12-inch circle (or rectangle, depending on your pan) and lay it on a tray or stone that has been dusted lightly with flour.
In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese with the juice of half your lemon. (Since I wasn't patient enough to have the goat cheese come to room temperature, I popped the bowl in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften further.) Season cheese with salt and pepper, and spread it over your pizza dough. Scatter fresh thyme over the cheese.
Arrange sliced zucchini in whatever aesthetically pleasing manner you see fit. I've done green yellow rings, alternating rows of all green and all yellow... you get the idea. Overlap the zucchini slices a bit so that the goat cheese is mostly covered. (see above picture for example) Squeeze the juice of the second half of your lemon on top of you zucchini, then drizzle with olive oil and finish with more salt and black pepper.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the zucchini looks roasted and a little curled up at the edges. (If using a pizza stone, the baking time will likely be much lower, so watch carefully.) Remove pan, transfer to cutting board, and serve! If I'm feeling extra healthy, I'll have a little salad with the pizza, but last night I was too hungry to wait. After all, it's a vegetable pizza -- how much healthier can it be?
The challenge now is to come up with a fall/winter pizza. TBD. For now, enjoy the "summer" pizza and happy eating! :)
P.S For some entertaining reading, I stumbled upon the Top Ten Great Pizza Moments in Film. Wow, two Wayne's World references in one post. Eee....