A Zucchini Blossom by Any Other Name
A combination of mozzarella, fior di latte, and salsa bianca (Italian béchamel) makes for one cheesy pizza. The delicate, bright vegetal flavor of zucchini, acidity of tomatoes, and bright and garlicky pesto pair well with the cheesy base.
The yellow-orange blossoms lend a delicate zucchini flavor and striking contrast to the white pie.
Zucchini blossoms are available at farmer's markets across the country. They are pretty, delicately flavored and emblematic of summer.
To prep the blossoms, tear the petals away from the stem (and discard the stem).
Prep the Zucc
Coarsely grate the zucchini with a box grater. Toss the grated zucchini with a teaspoon of kosher salt in a bowl (to draw out moisture). Let it sit (in cheesecloth or a strainer) for two hours, then press the excess liquid out of the zucchini. Now it's ready for the pizza.
Season the Dough
Stretch your dough into a round. Drizzle the dough with garlic oil and top with a mixture of grated Parmesan cheese and dried oregano.
To make the garlic oil, gently heat 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add 4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant but not colored (about 3 to 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and let the oil cool. Cover the oil and let it steep for an hour. This stuff is great on pasta as well!
Zucchini and Mozz
Evenly distribute the shredded whole milk mozzarella over the surface of the dough. Next, arrange the shredded zucchini in clusters over the cheese.
Ben emphasized the importance of bringing the toppings all the way to the edge of the dough surface.
Time for the fior di latte (Italian for glorious balls of milky fresh mozzarella). Evenly distribute 12 small balls of fior di latte over the pizza surface.
Tomatoes and Blossoms
Ben previously used cherry tomatoes for the Fior di Zucca. He's currently using diced plum tomatoes, and he hopes to soon be using Jersey tomatoes. Basically, whatever tomatoes are juicy, ripe and at your local farm or farmer's market are what will work best on your pizza.
Spread the marinated tomatoes and zucchini blossoms over the surface of the pie.
With a light hand, drizzle your basil-parsley pesto over the pie. Use your favorite pesto (or this simple recipe), omitting the nuts and cheese.
Next comes a drizzle of the salsa bianca. Ben's version gets a healthy dose of cheese and granulated garlic.
To make the salsa bianca, blend 1 1/2 quarts of heavy cream, 1/8 cup mascarpone, 1 tbsp sour cream, 2 cups grated Parmesan, 1/4 tbsp granulated garlic, and 1/2 tablespoon salt with a hand blender until smooth. Use the leftover sauce for pasta.
Into the Oven
Your pie is now ready for the oven. It's a beauty, ain't it?
The pizza cooks for approximately six to eight minutes in the 600 to 650 degree Fahrenheit Marsal & Sons oven.
At home, we suggest you cook your pie at the highest temperature your oven can reach. If you're using a pizza stone, you'll want it to be in the oven during the pre-heat. Cook the pizza until the crust is crisp and bubbly and the cheese has melted.
Ready to Mange
Every pizza should be cut with a totally badass pizza rocker knife, like the one Ben uses.
No matter how you slice it, share your pizza with loved ones and appreciate the bounty of summer.