When I wrote about cauliflower crust pizza, reader Sarah tipped me off on the Seattle Local Food Facebook page to another idea: zucchini crust. Apparently it’s a trick she learned from her grandmother.
Grandmother-approved and grain-free? I had to check it out. If it was as delicious as it sounded, it could be the ultimate cure for too-much-zucchini season.
It works just like the cauliflower crust, only you pre-shred the zucchini raw, and drain out its excess liquid, whereas you mash the cauliflower after cooking it. If you have a food processor with a top shredding blade, assembling this crust is fast and easy. The whole pizza-making process is actually pretty quick.
The result is a thinner crust than the cauliflower, with a nice chewiness. A wetter topping such as tomato sauce can make it a bit soggy, but tastes so good that I don’t mind. Pesto works really well too. I used some of the nettle pesto from my freezer on one pizza. Delicious.
The pizza above has tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, extra parmesan, fresh yellow tomatoes added at the end, and a sauté of garlic, onion, Italian parsley, and king oyster mushrooms. Any mushrooms will do.
About the crust proportions: You can really vary them, as long as there is enough egg to bind the other ingredients together, enough cheese to brown, and enough zucchini (with water squeezed out) to give it character. More cheese will make a crispier, browner crust.
Okay, too-much-zucchini season: Bring it on. My toppings are ready.
Zucchini Crust Pizza!
This recipe can be doubled.
For the crust:
- 1 large egg or 2 small ones
- About 3 small-medium zucchinis (mine were about 8″)
- 1.5 cups grated parmesan or mozzarella. I liked parmesan best for this one.
See note above about how you can vary these proportions according to your taste, your desired crispiness, etc.
For the toppings:
Use anything you like on a pizza. General formula:
- Mild tomato sauce OR pesto
- Grated firm mozzarella cheese OR sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
- Ricotta cheese or goat cheese, for small dollops on top (optional
- Assorted vegetables. Pre-sauté for extra flavor, especially if you’re using onion, garlic and mushrooms. A little italian parsley or basil is nice too; the basil can be added fresh after the pizza is cooked, and the parsley is nice in the sauté. Finely chopped greens are nice. Fresh tomatoes can be added after the pizza is cooked too.
- Meat if you like/eat meat on pizza: Crumbled sausage would work well. Pre-sauté. Ground lamb or chicken would be tasty, cooked with lots of garlic.
- Olive oil, black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Grate the zucchini.
3. Sprinkle salt on the zucchini and stir. Let it sit a few minutes.
4. Squeeze the water out. I found the easiest way to do this was to wrap it in cheese cloth or butter muslin and squeeze. You can also put the zucchini on one plate and press another plate on top of it, or put it in a colander and press a bowl into it.
5. Mix with egg and grated cheese.
6. Spread parchment paper on a pizza stone or baking sheet. Spread out your dough batter about 1/2 inch thick into a circle.
7. Put it in the oven and cook until it has browned, about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, as it is cooking, sauté any toppings you want cooked. I sautéed garlic, onions, mushrooms and Italian parsley.
9. Take the browned bottom crust out of the oven and admire it.
10. Cover it with your toppings.
10. Bake again until crust edges brown further and cheese on top melts into toppings. Take out of oven and add drizzled olive oil, grated black pepper, and optional fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. Serve hot.