Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dr. Zucchini, I presume...


My sister Cecily recently earned her doctorate in anthropology. For years, the quest had consumed her. It began with a thought, a notion, which she planted and then nurtured. She worked hard for a long, long time and now, finally, she is where she wanted to be. And I'll bet she's tired of answering the question of what comes next. Yes, she wants to use her degree for something good, but what that will be, well, she's not quite sure yet.

With her newly minted "doctor" status, I think Cecily may find my comparison of her Ph.D. to the zucchini in my garden to be kind of silly.


But I can remember back in early May when I sowed squash seeds in perfect rows. I was so full of hope that they would take and that I'd have enough zucchini to feed my family. I watered and weeded the plants as they grew and reached toward the sun. I worked with them for what seemed like a long time, and now here I am with so much goddamn zucchini I don't know what I'll do with it.

(I'm not alone; a local farm is practically giving it away. Their vegetable stand offers three squash for a dollar and each squash weighs at least 2 1/2 pounds. That's about 13 cents a pound. Worms cost more.)

So here I am, exactly where I wanted to be--swimming in zucchini--and I'm running out of ideas for ways to use it. I've been eating it raw and shaved as a salad. I've pickled it, fried it, grilled it, and roasted it. Still, I've got a lot of zucchini to get through. So when Dr. C came down to the farm last weekend, I asked what she wanted for lunch. Answer: pizza. So I figured now that we've earned our zucchini, here's what we're going to do with it:


Zucchini Pizza
4-6 servings

2 lb. zucchini
2 tsp. kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1 1/2 lb. pizza dough
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for pan and dough
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 hot chile, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Trim zucchini and thinly slice crosswise using a mandoline or a very sharp knife. Toss zucchini in a bowl with 2 tsp. kosher salt and transfer to a strainer set over a bowl; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Rinse the zucchini, then squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Oil a 12x17" baking sheet. Rub surface of dough with oil. Stretch dough to form a 12x17" rectangle, filling the baking sheet.

Sprinkle half of cheese evenly over dough. Scatter zucchini, garlic, and chile evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 1/4 cup oil.

Bake pizza until the underside is well browned and the dough is cooked through, 12-16 minutes.


  1. Looks wonderful, Have never had pizza with zuchinni. But I have a post for blueberry zuchinni bread that is a great recipe. Maybe you should try. Also a banana zuchinni bread Love your blog. Andi

  2. I like it this really good information.