White Focaccia Pizza with Zucchini

White Focaccia Pizza with Zucchini

A pizza recipe with a delicious little twist on tradition. If you’re looking for something a little different for pizza night, like I was, then this is just the thing. Instead of pizza dough this uses focaccia, skips the red sauce and uses three different types of cheese. And the topping? Zucchini. (You may have some hiding out in your fridge right now.) Cut up into matchstick pieces so small they don’t have a chance to get soggy.

The focaccia crust is softer and more bread-like than pizza dough. There’s a layering of flavors that starts by first brushing the dough with a garlic and olive oil infusion followed by ricotta cheese and herbs, mozzarella and last of all zucchini and red onion. Fresh out of the oven, Parmesan cheese is sprinkled over top along with a smattering of fresh herbs to finish it off.

I couldn’t of put together a better combination of flavors. Zucchini is such a mild, bland vegetable that it soaks up whatever flavors you pair it with just like a sponge. The zucchini doesn’t stand out as much as I initially thought it might. What you taste is this incredibly creamy topping with a pop of garlic and herbs over a soft and chewy crust. Incredibly and surprisingly delicious! Whether you’re a zucchini lover or not.

This is announcement is for those of you who have been following along with my Side Dish Showdown and most recently my Side Dish Saturdays event. I’m sorry to say that I have to put the event on hold for the time being. With the next few months being very busy for me it would be a struggle to keep it going. I hope to start it up again sometime in the future but right now that is up in the air too. I thank you all for helping make it such a success! I have a new found respect for side dishes and have learned to give them the careful attention they deserve so they shine as brightly, if not brighter than the main attraction.

White Focaccia PIzza with Zucchini

White Focaccia Pizza with Zucchini
(by Reeni)

Foccacia dough (recipe to follow)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
Sea Salt
Cornmeal, for dusting the pan
15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
12 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 large zucchini, julienned (cut into matchstick pieces)
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan, fresh grated
Fresh thyme or basil, chopped, for finishing, optional

1. To make a 16-inch pizza remove a 1/4 of the dough* and set aside unless you want a fairly thick pizza, in that case use it all. Oil a pizza pan and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Press and stretch the dough out to fit the pan. Set aside to rise for 15 minutes.

2. In a small skillet heat the oil over medium-low heat. Turn heat down to low and add garlic with a pinch or two of salt. Allow to cook over low heat for three-four minutes. If it begins to turn brown remove from heat immediately.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Allow the oil to cool and pour over top of the pizza dough, use a pastry brush or a spoon to spread it evenly across the dough. Spread the ricotta evenly over top and sprinkle with oregano and thyme. Sprinkle mozzarella over top, then zucchini and onion.

4. Bake for 24-28 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with Parmesan and herbs. Let set for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

*With the little bit of extra dough you can make a separate small pizza/focaccia.

Julienned Zucchini with my bad-ass Guy Fieri knife.
Thank you Brad for the cool Guy Fieri knife!

(adapted from Tyler Florence)

2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
2 teaspoons sea or coarse salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting
toppings, optional

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn’t form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. If making pizza proceed from here with the pizza instructions.

3. Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with more olive oil and add toppings if desired like caramelized onions, garlic, olives, cheese, salt, pepper, and rosemary or other fresh herbs. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Printable Recipe

White Foccacia Pizza with  Zucchini


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