Thursday, May 20, 2010

Squash Blossom Pizza


It has been far too long since I last posted! I left for vacation with the best of intentions of logging on and sharing a few recipes while I was off traveling, but of course, it never happened. I had some great food while out and about and even managed to snag the recipe for a delicious Thai curry that I promise to share with you soon. I’m also working on getting the recipe for a citrus marmalade we enjoyed in England. If I can get permission to share it with you, I’ll have that one up soon as well.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what to do with all the squash blossoms that should be appearing in your kitchen garden right about now. Each time I have the pleasure of dining at Mozza Pizzeria, I order the squash blossom pizza. It’s my favorite dish on the menu and as I eagerly await any news about Nancy Silverton’s forthcoming Mozza cookbook, I am resigned to trekking to West Hollywood and paying $20 for a pizza. Or so I thought.


Saveur’s recent Los Angeles issue was a pleasure to read. I saw some of my favorite places in Los Angeles getting the credit they deserve and learned about some new restaurants, food trucks and taco stands that I must try. The most exciting discovery was the publication of not only Mozza’s famous pizza dough (adapted for the home kitchen) and not only Mozza’s tomato-based pizza sauce, but the entire recipe for Mozza’s squash blossom pizza. I think it might just be enough to hold me over until the Mozza cookbook is published.


In case you missed the Los Angeles issue of Saveur, I feel a sense of duty to share the recipe with you here. This could easily be the best pizza you’ve ever had. Make sure you take the time to track down the best burrata you can find. The creamy cheese, coupled with a healthy dusting of salt is really what makes this pizza so spectacular.

Next step? Build a wood burning pizza oven in my backyard so I can get just a little closer to pizza nirvana that Nancy achieves at Mozza.


Mozza’s Squash Blossom Pizza

9 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T active dry yeast
1 T sugar
1 t kosher salt, plus more to taste
6 cups flour
2 cups pizza sauce (recipe below)
60 squash blossoms, stemmed
1 pound burrata

Combine 1T of the oil, the yeast, sugar, salt, and 2 cups of 115˚ water. Let sit until foamy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into four equal parts and roll into balls. Put the balls on a floured baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until tripled in size, about 2 hours.

Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower part of your oven and preheat the oven at 500˚ for 1 hour. Transfer 1 dough ball to a floured piece of parchment paper. Working from the center, gently flatten dough with fingertips to a 10" round. Cover the dough with a barely damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes. Brush the edges of the dough with2 T oil and season liberally with salt. Spread 1⁄2 cup of pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a 1" border. Arrange 15 squash blossoms over the sauce in concentric circles. Place the pizza (still on the parchment paper) on the pizza stone and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 14 minutes. Top with spoonfuls of burrata, a drizzle of olive oil and final sprinkling of salt.

Pizza Sauce

28-oz. can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ medium onion, grated

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper.