September 20, 2011

Meatless Monday: Zucchini Pizza

Hey guys! Back after a bit of an absence - things have been busy and I often find that after coming home from work, going to the gym and then making (and eating) dinner, I’m too tired to blog. But fear not! I spent part of my off-day last week at a neighborhood coffeeshop working a couple of posts, which will be going up over the next week.

But in the meantime, a special Meatless Monday guest post by MG!

Pizza can be a great and healthy weeknight meal if you make one critical move. That move is making the crust the night before. Esther and I discovered this step when I realized we wouldn’t have enough time to make the dough the night-of as we normally did. So I whipped it up the night before, let it do its first rise and then put it in the fridge to sit until the next day.

Blank canvas.

The result of our little time saver was a wonderfully malleable crust that crisped up nicely and still retained its chew. With our crust settled, we then turned our eyes to the toppings. We went with a zucchini pesto pizza from Serious Eats, overflowing with delicious late-summer produce. There were a few modifications to the pizza, as I suppose you’ve come to expect.


In addition to feta, we upped the cheese quotient by using a reduced-fat provolone-asiago-mozzarella-parmesan cheese blend. We also substituted summer squash for half the zucchini. Finally, we used my homemade pesto (from a batch in which I had forgotten to put parmesan) and reduced the amount of pesto to only ⅓ of a cup. The end result was delicious and we happily consumed over our customary 2 nights with salads on the side.

Zucchini and Pesto Pizza
from Serious Eats, with minor modifications

Makes 8 slices

1 ball pizza dough (homemade or purchased - if homemade, the overnight second rise will give more of a "pan pizza" texture, as opposed to thin crust)
1/3 cup of basil pesto
1 medium zucchini and 1 summer squash, very thinly sliced
4 ounces fat free feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup Italian cheese blend, shredded
about 16 kalamata olives, sliced

Pre-heat your oven to 450F. Roll out your pizza dough onto your chosen baking sheet (we use a rectangular cookie sheet). I just use my hands (sprayed with some handy Pam) to spread out the dough on the pan.

Top the dough first with the pesto, then the feta, layer on the sliced zucchini and squash and finally top with the Italian cheese blend and olives. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden on the bottom and the cheese is nice and bubbly on top. Let cool a little, slice and enjoy.

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