Squash Blossom Pesto Pizza
I made this for dinner for the girls and I the other night and it was insanely good. It was also quick and easy because I used fresh pizza dough from whole foods and jarred pizza sauce rather than making my own. The reason I’m choosing to share this recipe for my first post is because it’s real. I’m a mom who juggles a busy client load, kids' schedules and my own stuff peppered here and there so most days not every component of dinner gets made from scratch. I didn’t want to come out of the gate with some fabulous homemade fresh pasta dish because that’s something I have time for once a week, if I’m lucky. My real every day life looks much closer to coming home around 5, digging through the fridge and throwing something healthy and most importantly delicious together and then crossing my fingers that the girls will eat it. They devoured this pizza…
Squash Blossom Pesto Pizza
Shopping List / enough to make 2 individual pizzas:
1 packet fresh pizza dough of your choice (I recommend either Whole Foods or Trader Joes... it's sold in a bag and is not rolled out yet or frozen)
1 jar pizza sauce of your choice (My favorite is Cucina Antica, available at Whole Foods)
1 packet/jar pesto of your choice (I buy mine from a local farmers market)
1 good quality olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch olive oil, available at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Target)
1 8oz packet fresh mozzarella
8 thin slices of good quality prosciutto
8 zucchini squash blossoms, stems and inner pollen stamens removed (you can find these at your local farmers market when they’re in season)
A .25lb block of good quality parmesan cheese (I love Parmigiano Reggiano… and I always buy a block rather than cheese that’s already been grated because in terms of flavor nothing beats freshly grated cheese)
Tablespoon of good quality sea salt (Maldon is my favorite)
Teaspoon of garlic powder
Directions (to make one pizza):
Preheat oven to 450 F (unless otherwise noted on cooking directions of your chosen pizza dough).
Get out a sheet pan (9x13 or larger) and line with parchment paper.
Pour a quarter sized drop of olive oil on the parchment and distribute it around a little using your fingers.
Cut your fresh pizza dough in half. I like to coat each half with a tiny bit of olive oil because I find it makes it easier to work with.
Take one of the halves and begin flattening it out and stretching it with your fingers, working the dough from the middle out. You can also use a rolling pin, but you'll need to either oil it or dust it with flour to keep the dough from sticking.
Once the dough is the size and shape you want, lay it out on your parchment lined sheet pan.
Spoon out two tablespoons of the pizza sauce onto the dough and smooth it over the surface, leaving the edges alone for the crust.
Then spoon out 2 tablespoons of pesto and spread that out as well.
Tear some pieces off of the fresh mozzarella and scatter them over the dough. How much you use depends on how cheesy you’d like the pizza to be.
Lay 4 of the prosciutto slices on the pizza so that it’s evenly distributed.
Now do the same with 4 of the squash blossoms.
Next, grate some of the parmesan cheese over the whole pizza. Totally up to you how much you’d like to use. I use a very fine cheese grater so I like to give everything a pretty good covering.
Now we season the crust. For me, this step is crucial because it adds such a lovely finishing touch to the eating experience. First, I sprinkle the sea salt very evenly and methodically over the parts of the crust that are visible. Then I do the same with the garlic powder.
Lastly, I do a little drizzle of olive oil over the whole pizza.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is a light golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Once out of the oven, I let it rest on a large cutting board for about 3-5 minutes before cutting into it, just to let everything settle. Most of the time it ends up being more like 2-3 minutes though because standing there staring and it and smelling it without eating any is borderline torture.