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Ricotta and Squash Blossom Pizza

Yield: 12-inch pizza

Author Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Pizza Dough: (makes 2)

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F
  • 2 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon honey

Pesto: (makes about 1 cup)

  • 2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Toppings:

  • 1/2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 6 squash blossoms, stamens removed
  • 3 Tablespoon pesto
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup shredded fontina
  • 1/3 cup whole milk ricotta
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Dough:

  1. In small bowl, whisk together yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit for 5-7 minutes until mixture cloudy and foamy.

  2. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, whisk together bread flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Pour in yeast mixture. Mix together on low speed until dough starts to come together.

  3. Add olive oil and honey. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough has come together to form a smooth ball, about 3 minutes. If dough is too sticky and does not pull away from the sides of the bowl, add 1/2 Tbsp of all-purpose flour at a time. Transfer ball of dough to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place kitchen towel over bowl. Allow to rest for one hour until dough has doubled in size.

  4. Punch down dough and place on a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into two equal parts. Lightly cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes before shaping into pizza.*

Pesto:

  1. In a food processor, pulse together basil leaves and walnuts about 10-15 times until contents have begun to break down. Add parmesan, garlic and lemon juice. Pulse a couple more times until new ingredients have been distributed. 

  2. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until mixture comes together like a paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer pesto to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Toppings and Assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Warm up a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Gently sauté sliced zucchini and squash blossoms to slightly softened. Transfer to a plate until ready to use.

  2. Spread about 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Place dough in oiled skillet and gently push and pull dough to fit the bottom of the skillet.

  3. Spread 3 Tbsp pesto on dough, leaving about 1/2-inch border around the pizza. Sprinkle mozzarella and fontina evenly over the pesto. Arrange zucchini and squash blossoms on top. Distribute spoonfuls of ricotta over the pizza. Lightly sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg over pizza. Season with some black pepper.

  4. Transfer skillet to a stove over med-high heat. Warm up the cast-iron and cook pizza dough for about 3 minutes until the bottom of the crust has set and the oil is bubbling along the outer rim of the pizza. In order to have a more defined crust, use a spatula to create an indent around the toppings to separate the crust.

  5. Transfer the hot skillet into the preheated oven. Bake for 8-12 minutes until cheese has melted and is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let sit for 2-4 minutes until unmolding. Place pizza on a cutting board and use a sharp knife or pizza wheel to cut into slices.

Recipe Notes

Dough recipes make two 12-inch pizzas. If making two pizzas, double the toppings listed above. Otherwise, store remaining dough in the fridge and use within 2 days.

pizza dough recipe adapted from Bobby Flay, Food Network