Warning: Bougie/annoying story coming up. The first time I had zucchini blossoms, I, and my fellow backpackers, had been wandering around the city of Rome for ten hours, sun-sick and starving. We wandered into a little courtyard, cobblestones illuminated with twinkle lights and jovial, smiling waiters milling around. We order Peronis and these strange flowers and my life was changed. They were stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella, deep-friend, and the house speciality. So began my love.
But LBR (let’s be real), my lack of dexterity prevents the stuffing of these fragile flowers and California summer heat makes frying an impossibility. That being said, I couldn’t turn down the Farmers Market- presented opportunity to pick up some of these beauties and make a pizza.
First things first, I’m the realest. No seriously though. The key to a good pizza is homemade everything. Dough. Sauce. Ingredients. I’d make my own cheese if I had a cow i could trust. But freshness, simplicity and preferably organic ingredients are the key to great Italian cooking.
This recipe was an experiment. A successful one, my taste-testers said, because the delicate flavors melded well together, not one overpowering the other. As you’ll see, gentle herbs, mild cheese and the fresh blossoms are where the flavors shine.
Quick and Easy Pizza Dough:
- 1.5 tbsp active yeast
- 1 1/4 c. warm water
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tsp coarse seasalt
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 4 cups+ AP flour
In a big bowl, pour in warm water and throw in yeast. Give it a gentle stir. Let sit for five mins. Whisky in sugar, salt and olive oil. Add flour, cup by cup. Stir in with big wooden spoon until ball form. The dough will be sticky, but look for that ball form and knead/fold over for about a minute until ball is smooth. DON’T OVER-KNEAD. Combine and smooth, that’s it. Oil bowl. Put ball of dough back in. Cover and keep in warm, draft free place for an hour to rise. It should double.
The Perfect Mild Sauce (for this recipe):
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1/3 can of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
To be honest, I usually use fresh herbs, but I forgot. And I usually put in garlic, but I didn’t want to overpower the mild flavors. Sautee shallots in olive oil until wilted. Put in herbs and turn down heat, so the herb flavor saturates the oil. Throw in tomatoes. Cook for about 7 minutes on low-medium heat. Use emulsifier to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Fiore Di Zucca Pizza:
- 1/2 batch of above pizza dough
- The Perfect Mild Sauce (above)
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 20+ mini mozzarella balls, cut in half
- 2 balls burratta, quartered
- 8+ zucchini flowers
- 2 tsp minced Italian parsley
- Red chili flakes to taste
Preheat over to 400. Spread dough on oiled cookie sheet. Let rest for 15 minutes. Spread sauced to cover, leaving about a 1/2 – 1 inch for crust. Throw on sliced onion, mozzarella balls, and zucchini flowers. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until crust is just starting to go golden. Add burratta. Bake for another 5-7 minutes. Let cool. Sprinkle with parsley and chili flakes. Serve.