Seasons’ Eating: Zucchini Pizza
By Amri Abuseman
New York, NY – Summer is my favorite season because the warm temperature reminds me of home . Free from the grasp of cold weather, there are so many activities to do outdoors from active pursuits of kayaking and sailing, to passive ones like picnicking in the park and lying on the beach with a good book. The days are longer which give me the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors after I get off work. To top that off, summer brings delicious fruits and vegetables like sweet corn, beets, summer squash, heirloom tomatoes, peas, stone fruits, and melons.
Summer also marks the start of the Grassroots Farmers’ Market in my new neighborhood, Central Harlem. The market organizer, Sonya Simmons, is a recipient of a grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), a federal recovery fund to help communities in need stimulate their local economies. In a neighborhood that is abundant with fast food joints, Sonya’s green initiative brings farm fresh (and sometimes organic) vegetables and fruits to the community every Tuesday and Saturday through late November. By making fresh produce accessible to low-income residents, this market hopes to combat obesity and prevent health-related issues linked to obesity like high blood pressure and heart diseases.
Relaying off Valeria’s key ingredient in her Pesto Potato Zucchini Salad, I stopped by the market last Tuesday in search of some zucchini. I found a few varieties – round, green, yellow, scallop and Italian from Alex’s Tomato Farm for pizza zucchini, inspired by Grandaisy Bakery. To complement the zucchini in this recipe, with Sarah’s help and expertise, I bought some Spring Brook Tarentaise cheese at Saxelby Cheesemongers. The Spring Brook Tarentaise is a gruyere style cheese made out of raw cow’s milk. It is slightly sharp yet buttery enough to balance out the sweet zucchini flavor. Keeping this recipe simple, I used stored-bought pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. This pizza is light and easy to transport, which makes it perfect for outdoor dining.
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Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1/2 cup grated Tarentaise (can be substituted with gruyere)
- 3 tablespoon grated parmesan
- Store bought pizza dough (let it sit in room temperature to make it easy to roll out)
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grate zucchini and add 3 teaspoons of salt. Let sit in colander lined with cheesecloth for 20 minutes to remove excess liquid.
- Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
- Grate Tarentaise and mix with zucchini. Add salt and pepper to taste (go light on the salt to balance out the cheese and zucchini mixture).
- Line the back of a rectangular sheet pan with parchment paper and thinly roll out the pizza dough.
- Spread zucchini and cheese mixture over the dough. Top with breadcrumbs for added crunch.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, and sprinkle some grated parmesan before serving.
Amri Abuseman dreams about starting an organic farm and agroturismo business in the remote island of Middle Caicos when she’s tired of building and testing software. She is also Sarah Maine’s designated Asian food ingredients person.