Aaaah, summah! I simply adore this time of year when the days are longer, schedules flexible, and our garden is laden with delicious dishes just waiting to be plucked.
Admittedly part of this adoration comes from the fact that I can cook outside and leave the clean-up to the hubby – the yard is his job. Something about growing your own food also lets itself to picky eaters actually consuming vegetables. It’s MAGIC!
Then again it could be the pizza rather than the garden. My whole family scarfs down pizzas cooked in our outdoor oven like they’ve been paid to do this. (for a blog post or something) I use this to my advantage – conducting endless culinary experiments on them. The latest big hit was a super simple, scrumptious pie topped summer squash, bell peppers, garlic and just a little cheese.
What You’ll Need
The first thing is a good pizza dough recipe. I’ve found that this one by Liza over at (cool) Progeny is easy and very versatile.
- Pizza Dough (see link in post for recipe)
- 1 Summer Squash - medium
- 1 Bell Pepper - orange
- 1/4 c Shallot
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Thyme
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 tbsp Cotija Cheese
- Sea Salt
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Pizza Peel
- Spiral Slicer or Mandolin
- Measure out dough into a ball approximately the size of a large grape fruit. Shape dough into a sphere by pulling the sized down and under the ball, turning a quarter of an inch as you work. Place onto a floured surface, cover loosely with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a cool dry place for 20 minutes.
- If using an oven, place pizza stone on center rack. Preheat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The stone will need at least 30 minutes to heat through.
- Slice shallots into thin, half-moon shapes. Cut bell pepper into long, thin strips. Finely chop garlic and remove thyme leaves from their stalks. Using a spiral slicer or mandolin, thinly slice squash and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Once dough has risen, flour your work surface and turn dough out onto it allowing the flour to coat. Add extra flour as needed to avoid sticking. Press dough ball into a disk shape using your fingers. Roll dough out with rolling pin into a circle approximately 12-16 inches round.
- Sprinkle pizza peel with corn meal. Place dough on peel. Brush with olive oil, leaving a 1/4 inch edge. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Place vegetable toppings, drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, garlic; salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining cheese.
- Place pizza on stone in oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are as well.
- Dough should be refrigerated prior to starting this recipe. Cold dough is easier to work with. If using a wood-fired pizza oven, cook time is approximately 3 to 5 minutes depending upon temperature.