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Cathy Whims’ Zucchini Pizza 

When summer gives you squash, slice it thin and put it on a pizza, as this Portland chef and restaurateur does.

Zucchini pizza

Zucca pizza by Cathy Whims. Photo: Adele Lindsay

This zucchini pizza recipe comes courtesy of Cathy Whims, a chef who has created a procession of excellent Italian restaurants in Portland, Oregon throughout her career. She currently owns and operates her flagship, the nationally acclaimed Nostrana; Oven and Shaker, a pizza and cocktail spot with two Portland-area locations; and Enoteca Nostrana, a wine bar and special events space. She is also at work on her first cookbook, coming in 2025.Richard Martin

This is a white zucchini pizza. We spread some oil on after we form the pizza disc, then add garlic and shaved Raschera, a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Piemonte, though we use the firm version of it. Then, we concentrically layer the summer squash slices on the pizza, and add little dollops of a soft chèvre. It’s really good in that you have this fresh-tasting goat cheese with the aged Raschera. The pizza gets topped off with thinly sliced red onion before going into the oven.

After it comes out, we add a squeeze of lemon and espelette pepper, which I first brough back to Portland after a trip to the France side of Basque country.  

This is a really fresh-tasting pizza that’s light enough to enjoy in the summer heat, and it looks beautiful.

Zucchini Pizza

Zucchini Pizza

Recipe by Cathy Whims
0.0 from 0 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 1 store-bought or homemade pizza dough, at room temperature

  • All-purpose flour, semolina flour or cornmeal

  • 1 clove 1 garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 2 oz 2 Raschera cheese, grated (or any similar mild melty cheese, Munster is a great substitute)

  • 2 tablespoons 2 olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)

  • 1 small 1 -medium sized zucchini, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 small 1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 2 ounces 2 plain goat cheese

  • Pinch Espelette pepper (or Aleppo)

  • 2 tablespoons 2 finely chopped chives

  • Lemon wedges for squeezing

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Arrange a rack in the lower-middle part of the oven (if you have a baking stone, place it on the rack) and heat the oven to 550°F or higher. Don't be afraid to really crank the heat up to its highest setting, as the high heat will help make a crunchier and more flavorful crust. Let the oven heat for at least 30 minutes, an hour is even better.
  • Sprinkle a handful of flour, semolina flour, or cornmeal on a pizza peel or on an upside-down rimmed baking sheet covered in parchment. Form the dough into a large disk; using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a large circle until it is 1/4-inch thick (or less) and about 14 inches in diameter. Shake the peel or baking sheet frequently as you shape to make sure the dough isn't sticking. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for 5 minutes and then continue stretching/rolling.
  • Scatter the sliced garlic and Raschera cheese evenly on the dough, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini slices with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat and season them.
  • Arrange the sliced zucchini slices on top of the dough, covering the entire surface in a single layer, except for the rim.
  • Spread sliced red onion over the zucchini.
  • Place ½ tablespoon sized dollops of goat cheese evenly over the pizza.
  • Using the pizza peel, slide your pizza directly onto the baking stone. If you don't have a baking stone, bake the pizza on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment. Bake until the crust is golden and the toppings are lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and garnish with chives, a small squeeze of lemon, and another drizzle of olive oil.

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