Summer pizza nights are the best! This veggie-loaded cherry tomato, zucchini, and pesto pizza is loaded with all sorts of fresh flavor along with tons of comfort.
There were the best of times. There were the worst of times.
And then there was lab moving day.
Imagine the regular chaos of moving multiplied by fifty-four bottles of flammable chemicals, thirty-five highly breakable types of beakers, three -80C freezers, a large rock that my boss refuses to part with because he claims it has some nostalgic value even though he still can’t remember who gave it to him or why, two boom boxes that date back to the early ’90s, and a scuba mask (??).
Oh, and did I mention the ricin we found in the chemical hood that had to be appropriately disposed of?
Coping mechanisms = massive amounts of tequila or massive amounts of pizza.
Thankfully for everyone (but mostly my head), I chose pizza.
You can’t really have moving
day week without pizza anyway.
Or Fridays. Or celebrations. Or happiness.
So let’s pizza our lives away.
This pizza in particular is stuffed with all the best of summer, including but not limited to a hearty slather of pesto, a sprinkling of sauteed zucchini, fresh pops of cherry tomatoes, and all the cheese. I used gouda because my Whole Foods cheese monger brainwashed me with his SALE!!!! sign but you can feel free to use mozzarella, provolone, or anything your heart desires so long as it’s melty and relieves moving stress. I just couldn’t settle for anything less.
So now who do I have to see about those tequila shots?
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- pinch of sugar
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 zucchini, trimmed, quartered lengthwise and then sliced horizontally
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup pesto sauce
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ lb gouda cheese, shredded
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast with a pinch of sugar and ¼ cup lukewarm water, stirring to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes. If it becomes foamy, then the yeast is alive and raring to go! If not, then the yeast is probably dead or too old and your dough won't rise, so go buy more.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment, combine the flour, yeast/water mixture, remaining ¾ cup water, olive oil, and salt. Stir on medium speed until dough comes together. Stir on medium-high speed for five minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the topping. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the zucchini and saute for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Preheat oven to 500F.
- Rub a 12-inch pizza pan with olive oil. When the dough has risen, spread it out over the prepared pan.
- Top the pizza with a layer of pesto sauce, then the zucchini and the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
- Bake the pizza for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottom is starting to brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
For more summer-perfect pizzas, check out these:
From Around the Web:
Socca Pizza with Summer Squash and Feta from Cookie + Kate
Pizza with Corn, Tomatoes and Mozzarella from Pink Parsley
Barbecue Kale and Onion Pizza from Fake Food Free
Garden Hummus Pizza from Cheeky Kitchen
Cherry Pizza with Herbed Mascarpone and Arugula from Very Culinary