I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen, to use some of the bountiful summer squash available at Farmers’ Markets on summer squash pizzas. I intended to recreate her recipe, but as usual, I went off the rails and ended up with something totally different. To make my life easier, I decided to go with pita pockets (well, whole wheat naan, to be exact, since I couldn’t find pitas at Trader Joe’s) as crust, rather than fresh pizza dough, to cut down on time in the sweaty hot kitchen. Then, with every other ingredient, I ended up making my life much harder. Oops.
As recommended by Smitten Kitchen, I sliced the summer squashes very thin on a bias so they cook through in the time it takes the pizza to bake. I was going to buy some ricotta to use as a base, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, I made my own ricotta, which I’ve discussed before. It’s cheaper and far more delicious that way, but you can go ahead and use store-bought if you want this to be a quick and easy dinner. Naturally, one kind of cheese wasn’t enough, so I grabbed some fresh mozzarella to layer in with the squash. I also had some delicious cherry tomatoes from a local farm, so I thought about just slicing them up and tossing them on, then drizzling on some balsamic glaze to finish, but I was worried they might make the crust soggy. Instead, I waltzed over to my college classmate’s blog, The Healthy Toast, and turned the cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar into her lovely Balsamic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes– the perfect burst of tartness to balance out the clean sweetness of the vegetables and cheese. I roasted them while the pizza stone heated up, so no heat was wasted!
I also layered in basil for some extra flavor, which made the house smell aaaaaamazing. I had some leftover squash, so I threw it on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted it while the pizzas were baking. It made these lovely little zucchini chip-like things that helped bulk up my vegetable intake for the day!
My take? These little pizzas are perfect. The naan crisped up beautifully on the hot pizza stone while remaining soft enough to bite through- no sogginess at all! The ricotta made a lovely base for the soft slices of squash, while the basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes lent a familiar pizza-i-ness to the meal. I had a lot leftover, so I’m looking forward to pulling those out of the freezer and heating them up for quick dinners the rest of the week!
- 6 whole wheat pitas or naan
- 1 recipe homemade ricotta
- 1-2 summer squashes, sliced very thin on the bias
- 1/2 recipe Balsamic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- 3-4 oz fresh mozzarella
- Basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare and roast the cherry tomatoes while preheating a pizza stone in the oven to 450F.
- Spread ricotta over the naan, then layer squash, basil, and mozzarella in concentric circles to make it pretty. Sprinkle tomatoes on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly.