Zucchini: the formosan termite swarm of the garden. Like the pesky, wood-chewing, flying insects, zucchini seem to arrive all at once, in a giant swarm, during April and May. No one minds the first arrivals, but once the avalanche begins, people hide indoors, with all of the lights turned off, trying to avoid any new termites/zucchini.
Okay, zucchini aren’t nearly as unpleasant as termites, but their rapid over-production can cause a backyard gardener to despair in the face of rampant abundance. I personally have resorted to zucchini chocolate cake, zucchini peanut noodles, zucchini risotto, zucchini in marinara, lamb-stuffed zucchini, and stuffed squash blossoms, besides giving zucchini freely to friends, neighbors, and even random college kids canvassing door-to-door for environmental causes.
While I’m not that desperate (yet), I did top a pizza with grated zucchini, gruyere, and sheep’s milk feta , scattering a few squash blossoms atop it merely for color. The original recipe, sans feta and blossoms, is from Lahey’s My Bread, tucked into the chapter on pizza. (He has a new pizza book out–My Pizza–if you’re a fan of his food.) His technique calls for salting the shredded zucchini, squeezing the salted zucchini to remove excess water, then mixing the shredded squash with grated cheese. I simply layered the cheese atop the grated veggies, used his basic pizza crust recipe, and cooked it in my $30 Black and Decker toaster oven.
As it turns out, the toaster oven’s heating elements are quite close to the rack, which is ideal for a crisp crusted pizza. The oven’s odd-sized, 10″ x 9″ pan makes a rectangular pizza large enough for two lunch-sized servings (or one greedy-sized personal pizza), and it holds a quarter-recipe of Lahey’s dough. (See the crust recipe over here.)
So add zucchini pizza to the ever-growing list of squash recipes….I’ll post yet another one tomorrow!