Oh, how good it feels to put a blog post together! It has been far too long since I have sat down to share a recipe here with all of you. Life has been full these last two months and I am feeling grateful for all of that I was able to accomplish, but I am ready to settle down at home & spend the summer recharging as much as possible. Which brings me to this centercut squash blossom pizza recipe. A pizza inspired by a very special variety of squash & a summer night spent chilling in the backyard with friends.
Before we get to the pizza, we need to talk a little bit about centercut squash. This particular variety of squash comes from Row 7 Seed Company, a seed company built by chefs and breeders striving to make ingredients taste better before they ever hit a plate. I did not have a chance to start any vegetables from seed for a summer garden this year, but my good friends Kyle & Morgan of Urban Farmstead did & it just so happened that Kyle planted several varieties of squash from Row 7, including centercut squash! Centercut squash is very similar to the squash that we grew in Greece last summer. It is a dual-purpose squash that is edible in both summer and winter. Today, I am highlighting the green, immature fruit that is harvested in summer when the fruit is tender. Centercut’s long neck is denser and less watery than the average zucchini, packing in more complex flavor with a nutty taste and meaty texture.
When Kyle & Morgan recently invited us over for a woodfired pizza night in their backyard, Morgan asked me what kind of pizza I wanted to make for the occasion. The first idea that came to mind was to use centercut squash & its blossoms as toppings. Squash blossoms are one of our very favorite treasures of the summer garden & I knew they would pair perfectly with thin ribbons of the centercut squash atop of a creamy garlic white sauce with dollops of fresh mozzarella.
Now, you don’t have to have a garden to make this pizza – you don’t even have to use centercut squash (though I do hope that you feel inspired to grow this unique variety of squash at some point!) Yellow squash or zucchini would both be perfect substitutes, including their blossoms, which you should hopefully be able to find at your local farmers market this summer if you don’t have a garden yourself. The key is to shave whatever squash you use into very fine ribbons. As you can see, we used a wood-fired oven to bake our pizza, but I have included some tips in the recipe below for how to achieve a great bake on your pizza with a conventional oven.
The flavors of this centercut squash blossom pizza are quite simple. The garlic sauce recipe is a long time favorite of ours from Food 52 & it is the perfect base for the shaved squash & blossoms to shine. A final sprinkling of fresh thyme is the perfect touch to compliment the sweet, nutty flavor of the centercut squash & its blossoms. Out of all the pizzas we whipped up that night, this was by far our favorite.Print