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Summer Zucchini + Pesto Pizza With Squash Blossoms

This herbaceous pizza brings seasonal summer flavors together with pesto, squash blossoms, crunchy walnuts, and anchovies (optional) being the stars!
Course Main Course
Author Killing Thyme

Ingredients

Pizza Dough (You can use the recipe below, your own fave recipe, or a pre-made shell if it suits you best!)

  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups 00 flour or all purpose flour (Note: Though all purpose flour will work just fine, type 00 flour offers more elasticity which makes for much more successful pizza rolling!)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 oz packet instant dry yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups very warm water
  • 2 TBSP (+ 2 tsp) olive oil

Pizza Toppings

  • 3 TBSP pesto
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz julienned or thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1-2 oz flat anchovy fillets (whole or chopped) optional
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 4 squash blossoms, halved
  • Sugar snap pea pods (however many you'd like!)

Instructions

Pizza Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, yeast, and kosher salt. With the dough hook attachment, mix well. While the mixer is doing its thing, slowly add the water and 2 tablespoons of oil; beat until the dough forms into a ball. (If the dough is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball.) If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it until a smooth, firm ball forms.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place the dough ball into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in a warm spot to let it rise (it should double in size) for about 1 hour.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes. Once they've rested, it's pizza making time! (You can freeze one of the portions if you're not going to use it.)

Preparing Squash Blossoms

  • Carefully open the blossoms to check for bugs, 'cause this ain't no "Fear Factor" pizza. Give them a little shake over the sink. Cut off any leftover stem, and slice the blossoms in half. Remove the stamens from the center. Gently rinse the blossoms under cool running water, set on a paper towel, and lightly dab to dry. 

Pizza Assembly

  • Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Prepare your pizza-making surface by lightly greasing a baking sheet or tossing some cornmeal onto a pizza stone, depending on how you're doing it.
  • Start to push down on your dough to flatten it out, and start pressing down and out to stretch it. Keep pressing down and out until your pizza reaches the size you'd like (aim for about 14 inches or so).
  • Optional step: Brush the edges (where crust will form) with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of garlic salt for a garlic crust!)
  • Spoon the pesto into the center of the dough and spread it out evenly.
  • Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the pesto, followed by the zucchini; add the anchovies, red onion, walnuts, blossoms, and opened pea pods.
  • Sprinkle a bit of extra cheese over everything if you're inclined to. (And I think you are!)
  • Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until edges of crust are golden.

Notes

Stuffing and frying the blossoms prior to putting them on this pizza would be one heck of a delicacy, so if you're feelin' it, I encourage it!