Zucchini Ricotta Pizza
I was in middle school the first time I remember my Mom making pasta salad. It wasn’t your normal cafeteria style macaroni with mayonnaise. This was al dente penne, tossed with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, Kalamata olives, with a homemade vinaigrette and flakes of basil from our herb garden. From the first taste I was in love. The tang of the vinegar paired with the chewiness of the pasta; a spruced up caprese salad that was a full meal by itself. I loved it. So much, in fact, that I requested it every night for dinner. And for lunch on the weekend. And when my parents had dinner parties. Week after week I craved that pasta goodness.
You can all guess what happens when a 12 year old requests something every night of the week, right?
I spent the next two years declaring how much I disliked pasta salad and refused to eat it.
My poor mother. If it wasn’t bad enough that I watched Sliding Doors on repeat, ordered the same dessert (tiramisu) at every restaurant, and went through a phase of cycling the same CDs on my awesome 3 CD player: Non Stop 90s Rock, Backstreet Boys, and The Bodyguard. Even though no one could guess what my taste would be, at least I knew what I liked. And all the words to “I’m Every Woman”.
I went through the same phase with many of my adolescent food choices: ham and butter sandwiches, Smartfood popcorn, Fruit by the Foot. And each time the food won, and I tossed it aside for all eternity, claiming it the worst of the worst of food choices (or at least, worse than the last food choice I discarded). At least this worked out in the end; after a couple of years through a build up of excessive consumption of various foods the ones that had been disposed of were surely forgotten and made their way back into my pallet. Though I may never eat another bag of Smartfood again. So much powdered cheese.
I say all of this because I am warning myself: I’m on a bit of a zucchini overload. Ever since my zucchini fritters and reading everywhere how perfectly in season they are I have been eating them in everything: chopping them raw in my salads, eating them with hummus as a snack, blanching them and tossing with some tomato sauce as a faux pasta (more on that another time). Zucchini and I have reconnected, and while you have not seen any recipes so far on Yumventures, trust me that they are there. But I didn’t want you to believe that my skin may be turning green at any moment.
I had just started to work up an appetite for zucchini when I saw a recipe for Cheesy Zucchini Pizza on Eat, Live, Run. Not only did this pizza look amazing, but Jenna knows her food. Her pictures are never short of droolworthy and just reading her recipes makes my stomach grumble. How could I say no to the pizza she had pictured, a mound of green pile atop a cloud of white cheese?
I obviously couldn’t. So here’s my version. And it was honestly the best pizza I’ve ever had. I dare you to top this with anything tomato-based or meat-filled. This was like heaven in a slice. I actually still can’t get over it.
Zucchini Ricotta Flatbread Pizza (adapted from Eat, Live, Run, makes 4 personal pizzas)
4 pieces of flatbread, flour tortillas, or homemade tortillas (I used my homemade ones)
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 large zucchinis
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Red pepper flakes to taste
Preheat oven to 450*
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Grate the zucchini and dry with a couple of paper towels, removing most of the released moisture.
Put the grated zucchini in a bowl and add the grated mozzarella. Combine well will a little salt and pepper.
Place tortillas on a wire rack. On your tortillas, spread a layer of the ricotta cheese, about 1/4 of an inch thick (or just divide evenly between the dough you are using)
Top with a layer of the zucchini, about 3/4 of an inch thick (or again, just separate between pizzas evenly)
Sprinkle zucchini with red pepper flakes.
Bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes, or until the edges of your tortilla are crisp and the cheese has begun to golden.
I served this with some broccoli sauteed with garlic and tomato and basil salad.
I am so tempted to make this pizza again, essentially, right this very moment, but it will have to wait. It is just too good to end up hating. Until next summer, zucchini pizza. Until next summer.