When you have kids there’s a period of time when you are inundated with pizza parties –– from school functions to birthday celebrations –– pizza is the quick and easy, crowd-pleasing answer for most of these events. In the beginning, I would have a slice to partake in the festivities at times but I soon realized I was wasting my valuable caloric intake on mediocre pies. I am not a pizza snob by any means, I have just reached the point in my life that if I am going to eat a slice well … I want it to be good. Last week at the markets, I noticed many summer-y things trickling in such as peaches, berries and now … zucchinis. I have long adored these green beauties and I believe them to be quite possibly my favorite of the squashes. It was a year ago when I decided to make a pesto out of zucchini and now I am using it for my pizza topping in this adult-approved, kid-friendly, and calorie worthy Zucchini Pesto & Ricotta Cheese Pizza.
|Prep Time||10-15 Minutes|
|Cook Time||20-30 Minutes|
- 2 Medium zucchini washed, stems removed & lightly chopped
- 1 Cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 Cup pecans
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1 Medium lemon Zest
- 2 Medium Cloves garlic
- 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 1/4 Teaspoons (or one packet) active dry yeast
- 1 1/3 Cup warm water
- 3 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour plus extra if needed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt
for the pizza dough:
- For the pizza dough: In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast for 5 minutes in the warm water. Then add flour, olive oil, sugar and salt. Mix until blended and then knead for about 10 minutes either by hand or in your mixer with the dough hook on low. Check dough to see if it's smooth, elastic and not sticking to the bowl. Add a touch more flour if needed to prevent sticking, then transfer dough into a lightly olive oil coated bowl and cover with plastic wrap or towel and place in a warm place. Let rise until doubled in size. About 1 1/2 hours. Dough can be used right away or placed into a plastic bag and refrigerated for up to a week.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pecans into a food processor and pulse until completely well chopped. Next add the zucchini, garlic cloves, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil in a little at a time starting with a 1/4 cup and continue to pulse until well blended and desired pesto texture is reached using up to one cup of olive oil.
- Next spread pizza dough out onto a greased pizza pan. Top with zucchini pesto and spread evenly around dough leaving about 1/2” from the edges. Using a fork, gently “crumble” the ricotta cheese over the top of the pesto. Give the pizza a final drizzle of olive oil (about 1 Tablespoon) and place into the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until pizza begins to bubble and crust turns lightly golden in color.
- Remove from the oven, slice and serve.
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