August 17, 2011

A Summer Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini and Eggplant

I look forward every summer to the time my garden is producing the vegetables for this delicious pizza. With its fresh taste of herbs setting off the fried zucchini and eggplant, with the sweetness of my favorite Sungold tomatoes, it's a taste of summertime. The recipe is from Deborah Madison's The Greens Cookbook, one of the staples of my cookbook shelf.

1 medium zucchini
1 Japanese eggplant
olive oil
salt and pepper
12 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped (I use 2 garlic!)
2 oz mozzarella cheese, grated or thinly sliced
2 oz Fontina cheese, grated (I use only mozzarella and only 2 to 3 ounces; I don't like a cheesy pizza and want the vegetables to be the stars)
3 Tbs basil, finely chopped
fresh thyme and basil, finely chopped

  1. Prepare dough (see recipe below)
  2. Slice the zucchini and eggplant diagonally into pieces 3 to 4 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and let stand for 1/2 hour to draw out moisture. Blot on paper towels
  3. Heat 1/4 inch oil in skillet on high flame. Add vegetables, not crowding them, and fry on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Dress tomatoes with a tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, and salt and pepper. Drain them before putting them on pizza.
  5. Preheat oven to 500º, using a stone for a good crust.
  6. Shape dough and put on well floured (or corn mealed, which is what I use) peel. Brush with olive oil and distribute most of cheese and then basil over it. Arrange zucchini and eggplant in overlapping layers with tomatoes in and around them. Dot with remaining cheese.
  7. Slide pizza onto preheated stone and bake for 8 to 12 minutes. I find 10 minutes is about right in my oven.
  8. Remove from oven and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and herbs.

My pizza dough recipe comes from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. These amounts make enough for a 10-11 inch pie, perfect for the recipe above.

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 teas salt
scant teaspoon active dry yeast dissolved in a little more than 1/2 cup water
1 Tbs plus 1 teas olive oil

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, making a hollow in the center. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and yeast mixture and work together until mixed.
  2. Transfer to a board and knead until smooth, around 10 minutes.
  3. I do, use a food processor, placing the flour and salt in the bowl, adding the dissolved yeast and water plus olive oil as the slowly as the blades spin. Process until dough forms a ball on top of the blades. Remove dough and knead by hand for a few minutes.
  4. Put 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large bowl and place the dough in it, turning it around so it is coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a very warm place for about 3 hours until it is doubled in bulk.
  5. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest for a few minutes, then roll and stretch it out into a 10-11 inch circle.


  1. Thank you for the recipe, just made it and it was delicious. I used Mark Bittman's crust recipe. I have a second one for tomorrow and we are looking forward to it- nothing like left over pizza.

  2. Bettina, I'm so glad you liked the pizza. It's a summer favorite of mine, just as my pizza with swiss chard is in winter. I love leftover pizza, too.