It’s always at this point in summer when I am seriously yearning for fall. We’ve had the first few cooler days and suddenly my thoughts are all things spiced, pumpkin, cozy and comforting. Thankfully though, the thing that gives me patience with summer and maybe even want it to stick around is the end of summer bounty that is about to burst forth from gardens everywhere, including my own. The bright colors and fresh flavors are kind of irresistible, and my mind is overflowing with ways to make use of it all.
This pizza is one of my favorite options. I’ve been trying to share it for a while, in fact, but it hasn’t lasted long enough to take a picture. You can understand, though. Garlic-infused oil, fresh veggies and of course, a generous amount of cheese. Yeah, I think I’ll keep summer around a little bit longer.
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 ball pizza dough
½ zucchini, very thinly sliced*
½ yellow squash, very thinly sliced*
1 tsp. kosher salt
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
½ red onion, chopped
2-3 oz. soft garlic herb cheese, such as Boursin
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Let the oil infuse about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, place the zucchini and squash slices in a colander and toss with the salt. Let stand 15-20 minutes to allow excess water to drain from the vegetables. Lay the slices out on a clean kitchen towel and blot the surface to remove additional water and the salt.
To make the pizza, heat the oven to 500˚ F and preheat a pizza stone for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round. Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil. Brush the center of the dough with the garlic infused oil. Sprinkle the mozzarella in an even layer over the dough. Layer the zucchini and squash slices in concentric circles over the cheese covering the pizza. Top with the tomatoes, red onion, Boursin and basil. Bake 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 11-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.
*If you have a mandoline, this is a great use for it. However, thin slices can also be made with a good, sharp knife.