The door’s open and I’m staring into the fridge. What’ve I got that might make a good, simple flatbread? No time for sauce, what can I throw on there for a quick snack? What did I get at the farmers market? Zucchini. Corn. Chiles. A basket of grape tomatoes. The dough was already stretched out on the board, so I needed to be fast. I took out the zucchini and remembered that julienne peeler I bought a couple of years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, the whole zucchini noodle thing. The truth is, I made “zoodles” about three times before that peeler went in to the drawer, got shoved to the back, and didn’t come out again.
Turns out, it’s the perfect tool for shaving down a medium zucchini so it’ll cook up quickly without making a watery mess of your pizza. In celebration of actually using that damn peeler again, this week’s Friday Night Slice is the Zucchini Cherry Bomb. It’s vegetarian, it’s sauceless and it’s delicious.
Like the Margherita before it, this pizza evokes the colors of the Italian flag, though we’ve taken this pie in a slightly different direction. Unlike our usual pizzas, we’re par-baking it on the Baking Steel it to give it a headstart, and then adding half the toppings for the remaining bake time. Just half. The rest goes on after the pie comes out of the oven, so you’ll get a mix of textures and flavors, a little cooked and a lotta fresh. If you don’t have a Baking Steel, this one is easily transferable to the grill.
Friday Night Slice: Zucchini Cherry BombPrint Recipe
- 1 ball of pizza dough
- 4-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into "noodles" with a julienne peeler
- 3 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
- olive oil
- sea salt
- parmesan cheese
- red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven at 500F for one hour to heat your baking steel (or stone).
Turn the heat up to broil.
Gently pat and stretch the dough into a rectangle. Transfer it to a pizza peel. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lightly dock the dough in several places. Bake it for 2 minutes, then remove from the oven. Top with half the zucchini and half the cherry tomatoes and bake for another 2 minutes.
Once it's out of the oven, top with the remaining zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Grate parmesan over the top, as much or as little as you like, and sprinkle on the basil and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.