Wednesday is for foodies: Spending the middle of the week in the heart of the home.
What’s special about this veggie pizza? A touch of fresh lemon zest!
Either make a pizza dough from scratch (recipe below) or buy a pre-made dough at the supermarket.
1 12 oz package of grated mozzarella cheese or an Italian blend. I frequently use Quattro Formaggio Blend from Trader Joe’s. You can also use a low-fat mozzarella.
1 medium to large zucchini or 2 small – sliced thin using a knife or mandolin
2 cups baby spinach leaves
freshly grated pepper
Finely grated zest of one lemon
optional: 1 cup goat cheese cut into sticks
optional: dried hot pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter your pizza pan or a cookie sheet.
Dust the counter with flour and roll the dough out to the size of your pizza pan or baking sheet and place it on the pan.
Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the dough. Sprinkle on hot pepper flakes to taste, or use freshly ground black pepper.
Place the zucchini slices on top of the cheese. I got playful and put them in a spiral, but you could just place them at random. Ditto with the spinach leaves.
Add any other cheese or vegetables you like – I used a sticks of a firm drunken-goat cheese on this pizza, but soft goat cheeses or fresh mozzarella are good too.
Sprinkle on the grated lemon zest.
Bake for about 30 minutes until the edge of the pizza just starts to turn golden. Open the oven and shake the pan to slide the pizza off the pan and onto the oven rack. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to crisp the crust. Slide the pan back under the pizza to remove it from the oven. Enjoy!
Basic Pizza Crust
1 Envelope Yeast
1 Cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 ½ to 3 cups flour
1 additional tablespoon of olive oil for the bowl.
Put the warm water, salt and maple syrup or honey in the bowl of a food processor. Add the yeast and pulse a couple of times to mix. Scrape random yeast from the side of the bowl back down into the water and add the olive oil and one cup of the flour. Pulse off an on repeatedly for a minute to mix the ingredients and to begin to develop the gluten in the flour. Add the rest of the flour one half cup at a time, mixing for about a minute after each addition. If the dough forms a ball after 2 ½ cups of flour, and isn’t sticky to the touch, stop with that amount. If the dough is sticky, add another ½ cup and pulse again.
Grease a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Remove dough from the food processor and place in the oiled bowl. Cover with a clean, damp dish towel and let the dough rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours. If it doubles in size quickly, before you’re ready to make the pizza, punch it down and let it rise again.
If you’ve made the dough hours before you’ll bake the pizza, punch it down after it rises once or twice and put it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Remove from fridge when you’re ready to roll it out and make the pizza.