26 August 2013

Fresh Tomato Salami Pizza

Pizza pizza.  Call me Little Caesar, cuz I love a good pie.  So surprise, I have yet another one to share with you.  Not too fancy shmancy, but darn good and extra sneaky.  Yes, a sneaky little pizza.  Why, might you ask?  Because of all the veggie goodness hiding inside.  Et tu, Brute?  Yes my friends, always and forever, for vegetables belong on pizza.  Especially zucchini, which is practically sprouting out of my ears at this point.  Remember that veggie box from a few weeks back? Welp, here is another meal inspired by the bounty inside.

Speaking of that vegetable box, let's take a second to stop and appreciate these tomatoes.  I mean, just look at them...they totally deserve it.  


This was not a recipe I'd originally planned on blogging.  I thought it was pretty good, but when the hubs found out the vegetable trickery I had pulled, he insisted I share.  As soon as he saw me begin topping the crust, he said "woah....I don't know about that one".  Ha.  Little did he know I had already bam-pizza-boozled him before with this hidden veggie delight.  Are you ready for the trick my friends?  If not, I'm telling you anyway for I've already gone way to far with the build up.  The trick is zucchini.  Shredded zucchini, sprinkled on top of a creamy pesto base.  Yup, that simple.  An extra little boost of antioxidants and potassium are that easy to find.  And the best part is, you can't taste it at all.  I didn't even put zucchini in the name, it's that sneaky.

Besides the zucchini magic, this is also a delicious pizza.  The flavor is very similar to a classic caprese pizza, but with a few extra friends for added flavor.  The pesto and salami are fabulous together, and a great departure from the traditional marinara pairing.  Fresh garden tomatoes add a lovely roasted juiciness and oodles of mozzarella cheese always make me swoon.  The touch of parmesan in the cheese adds an extra flavor boost, playing up the salami and pesto a bit more.  A post-bake sprinkling of chili flakes and fresh basil brings everything together for a super-caprese pizza that you will love.  Meanwhile, that zucchini just disappears into the mouths of completely clueless partakers.

As mentioned before, this isn't the first time I've put shredded zucchini on a pizza.  I did it on buffalo chicken a few weeks back and the hubs had no clue whatsoever.  So obviously, the trick is very versatile.  If you're not a meat or salami person, feel free to leave it off for a wonderful vegetarian dish that is hearty and filling.  If pesto isn't your thing, swap in marinara.  Or for those parents of picky eaters, make a plain cheese with a little something special hiding inside.

Fresh Tomato Salami Pizza (serves 3)

  • 1 Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
  • 1/4 c pesto (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 c salami, cut into matchsticks 
  • 1 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 cups shredded)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 c mozzarella
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • fresh julienned basil* & chili flakes, to garnish
Place a pizza stone or pizza pan in your oven and preheat to 500 degrees.  Lay a piece of parchment paper or tin foil on your counter and sprinkle generously with cornmeal.  Form your pizza dough into a crust and lay on the prepared parchment paper, then poke a few times with a fork.  Let rest for 10 minutes while the oven finishes heating.  

After you've prepped your dough, shred your zucchini with a cheese grater or mandolin.  Remove as much moisture as possible by squeezing between several paper towels.  Cut your salami into matchsticks (or dice if you prefer) and move to the side of your cutting board.  With a small serrated knife, cut the core out of your tomato before slicing into medium-thick slices.  Gently remove the seeds from your tomato slices with your fingers over the sink, being careful to keep the membranes intact.  Transfer the tomato slices to a paper towel, then top with another paper towel and gently press to remove excess moisture.  (This helps keep the pizza from getting soggy.)

To assemble the pizza, spread the pesto on top of the prepared crust.  Sprinkle the shredded zucchini evenly over the pesto, then top with the salami sticks.  Arrange the tomato slices on the pizza and top with both cheeses.  Bake for 9-10 minutes, turning on the broiler in the last minute for a nice, golden top.  Let cool for a minute or two before garnishing with chili flakes and basil, if desired, then cut and serve hot.

*To julienne basil, stack several leaves, roll tightly and thinly slice with a sharp knife

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