Got a backyard surplus, or not sure what to do with your CSA haul? This summer garden pizza makes good use of pattypan squash (or zucchini or other summer squash), squash blossoms, and fresh herbs.
Sometimes I'm not the best plant mama. I skip a day or two of watering, I neglect my weeding duties, and I let the raspberry bush and tomato plants grow unchecked until they dangle over the neighbors' fences. I'll admit that the ideal of having an urban veggie garden doesn't always feel like a good enough reward for all the hard work . . . or a good enough reason to skip a pool party or impromptu beach day.
But then there are these nights, when I source all the veggies for dinner from my own 200-square-foot backyard, then plunk it down on the table with a goofy grin on my face, feeling like a big deal urban homesteader or something.
For this year's first summer garden pizza, I only had a few things to work with: one giant pattypan squash, some squash blossoms, and handfuls of sweet basil and lemon balm. But man was this one a winner. Turns out lemon balm is my new favorite pesto ingredient. And the squash blossom + squash combo made for a delightful balance of sweet, vegetal, and summery flavors. If you can't find pattypan squash, use a medium zucchini or summer squash instead.
Looking for more pizzas to help you use up summer veggies?
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Pizza Sauce
- Zucchini Pizza Sauce
- Ratatouille Pizza
- Pesto and Fresh Tomato Pizza
- Green Tomato and Caramelized Onion Pizza
Summer Garden Pizza with Pattypan Squash, Squash Blossoms, and Herb Pesto
- Food processor
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
For the pesto
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 cup fresh lemon balm leaves, packed
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts or chopped almonds, toasted
- 1 garlic clove
- 1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
For the pizza
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- 1 medium or 2 small pattypan squash, very thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup heavy cream, divided
- 6 to 8 fresh squash blossoms, rinsed and checked for bugs
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes. Then, if you’re using a baking stone or steel, switch the oven to Broil on high.
- To make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the basil, lemon balm, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse until well combined and very finely chopped. With the motor running, stream in the oil and process until smooth. Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice as desired. (But be careful not to salt it too much; as the pesto cooks on the pizza, the flavors will intensify.)
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Spread the pesto evenly over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border all around. Tile on the sliced squash (keeping them in a single layer), then sprinkle on the feta and half of the cream. Arrange the squash blossoms on top in a circle, spacing them evenly.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel. Remove the pizza from the oven.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and immediately drizzle on the remaining cream. Let it sit for 5 minutes, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, then slice and serve.
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