Zucchini: The Trickster Ingredient
I like zucchini.
I like zucchini when it is on top of a big ol’ pile of cheese and garlic and pizza dough.
I like zucchini pizza.
One of my favorite things about zucchini is that when you are eating it, you often don’t realize just how good it is for you.
That makes it even better.
Oh zucchini, you such a trickster!
I feel like I kind of can’t wait to have kids, just so I can trick them into eating healthily with things like zucchini pizza.
(Mom, don’t you get too excited over there. I said kind of. And it’s only so I can trick them into eating things like zucchini pizza and zucchini cookies. That’s it.)
For now, I’ll just have to settle for plying my friends with warm, gooey zucchini goodness.
Luckily for me I have a friend named Alise.
She comes over, brings me wine, tells me stories, and makes me laugh.
I feed her zucchini pizza.
I hope that’s a good enough trade for her because I’d really like to keep her around for a while.
1 pre-made pizza crust, or ingredients to make your own
1 tsp. cornmeal
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (you can use skim; I just think the whole milk tastes better here)
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
3 zucchini, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
Prepare pizza crust according to directions, but do not bake yet. Lay out on greased baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Grate zucchini, using the large holes on a box grater. Grate into a colander, then use paper towels to wring water out of the zucchini.
A lot of water will come out. You’ll probably need to use several paper towels, as they will soak through. Keep squeezing, until zucchini is mostly dry. Add grated mozzarella to the grated zucchini. Mix to combine.
In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, salt, olive oil, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic.
Spread over unbaked pizza crust. Spread the zucchini mixture over the ricotta mixture.
Bake on middle rack in oven for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese begins to bubble.
Drink wine and eat pizza with your friend.
Laugh at her stories.
Alternatively, eat pizza with your children whom you’ve successfully tricked into eating their vegetables.
Laugh at their shock when you tell them that they’re eating zucchini.
Zucchini, so tricky, that one!