The Zucchini Anchovy

zucchini, anchovy, burrata

I consider myself someone who really likes food. But recently, I keep meeting people who really really like food.

A few months ago, we went to our friends’ house for brunch. They made, among other things, khao man gai, which they served with three homemade condiments including an irresistible chile-garlic sauce. And then, as a palate cleanser, they poured homemade salty sour plum juice mixed with seltzer over ice. And then they made negronis. I could have stayed all morning.

Last Thursday, two other friends came for dinner, and they brought a few cheeses, Marcona almonds, wrinkled black olives, and a plate of prosciutto and capocollo. They had made the prosciutto and capocolla. They make wine every fall.

I need to up my game.

But these friends, these people — you know them. They follow the Times obsessively. They have been long-time admirers of Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford. They know exactly what to do with ramps, fiddlehead ferns and garlic scapes. They read every word of Lucky Peach. They make cross-country voyages for pizza.

So when you bump into them at your local co-op and you tell them you’ve put your life on hold to read Delancey, they ask if you’ve been to Di Fara or their gold standard, Una Pizza Napoletana. And then later that night, they email you links to articles, podcasts, and videos, which you read and listen to and watch until the wee hours of the morning.

And as you continue to put your life on hold, you have near panic attacks because all you want to do is pull all of these friends together — the wine makers, the plum picklers — and take over the nail salon on Nott St., a one-story space* rumored to be vacated imminently, and open a little spot that serves housemade prosciutto, a few simple salads, and wood-fired pizzas, maybe something like the Zucchini Anchovy I read about in Delancey.

I have no idea if Delancey still serves the Zucchini Anchovy, but when Brandon Pettit and Molly Wizenberg were drafting their opening menu, they included it with a few other sauceless pizzas. A nod to a Roman classic, their version used thinly shaved zucchini in place of zucchini blossoms.

For our friends last Thursday, I made this with the addition of garlic and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt, something Anthony Mangieri adds to every pie he makes. And with this pizza on the table — the subtle flavor of anchovy, the melting summer squash, the creamy burrata, the fresh basil — I think I almost convinced our friends to get on board with the Nott St. pizzeria. At the very least, a seed was planted. Ahhh, it’s fun to dream.

*As I read in Delancey, to keep costs down, a one-story space is preferable when wood-fired ovens and their chimneys are involved.

ingredients

dough, resting

This is the beauty of the Lahey pizza dough — all of those air pockets will create the nicest texture in the finished crust:
lahey dough

A little anchovy and garlic go a long way:
topped with oil, garlic, anchovy

zucchini ribbons

A sprinkling of nice, coarse sea salt is a nice addition to any pizza:
ready for the oven

zucchini, anchovy, burrata pizza

oven spring

The Zucchini Anchovy

The Zucchini Anchovy

Dough Source: Bon Appetit via Jim Lahey's book: My Pizza.

Notes: As you know, I am partial to the Lahey Dough. It takes five minutes to throw together a day before you plan on baking, and it is worth every effort to plan ahead for — no other dough, in my experience, creates those beautiful air pockets. I also am partial to this Tipo 00 flour, which I order in bulk and store in the freezer. Finally, the Baking Steel creates pizzas with that beautiful oven spring in the crust and a nice crisp undercarriage.

Ingredients

  • 1 anchovy, minced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • zucchini, shaved as thinly as possible on a mandoline
  • fresh mozzarella or burrata
  • nice sea salt
  • basil leaves
  • pizza dough, Lahey is my preference, recipe below:

    7 1/2 cups all-purpose or tipo 00 flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough
  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt (I use Diamond kosher)
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 3 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let dough rise at room temperature (about 72°) in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
  2. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
  3. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with a light dusting of flour for about an hour or two before shaping. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead.
  4. To Make the Pizzas: Pull out a pizza round from the fridge one hour before you plan on baking. Dust dough with flour and place on a floured work surface. Preheat oven to its hottest setting, 550°F. Gently shape dough into a 10"–12" disk handling it as minimally as possible. Arrange dough disk on parchment-lined baking peel; top with minced anchovy and garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Pile on the shaved zucchini. Note: It's ok to add more than you think feels right here because the zucchini shrinks down a lot. Top with roughly cubed mozzarella or burrata. Sprinkle with nice salt. Drizzle with a splash more olive oil.
  5. Bake pizza until top is blistered, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a work surface. Top with basil leaves. Slice and serve.
http://www.alexandracooks.com/2014/07/08/the-zucchini-anchovy/

zucchini, anchovy, burrata pizza

A few other pizzas you might like (images link to posts):

Naked pizza with herbs and garlic

Alsation flatbread with pears and gorgonzola

pizza1-1

12708906084_3dbdb2a972_o

butternutsquashpizza1

9408235619_4a62f26160_b

pizza1

piadine1

8_justbakedzucchinipizza

pizzawithlemonsmokedmozzarella

np4

9370238928_db5f9de5ca_b

36 Comments

  1. When you open shop, can I be your intern? :)
    I hope you take heart in knowing that there are many of us who look to you in the same way you look to your talented pals.

    Reply
  2. You are the Great Guru of the kitchen….and that dough is beautiful….I’m feeling very pizzaish lately and need to put buying a steel on my to do list….and I will be there at the pizzeria with a slice in one hand, a negroni in the other…feeling as though I had died and gone to heaven….

    Reply
    • Laurie, nothing would make me happier than to see you at the Nott St. pizzeria! And yes, the Steel is amazing — I am toting it to the beach this weekend for a little getaway (with kids) with some friends. We might be eating pizza every night. hugs!

      Reply
  3. This looks amazing. I’ve got a go-to pizza dough recipe, but I might need to try this one.

    Question: What is the best way to print recipes from your site? The print option gives me 54 pages and the two pages with the actual recipe on them are scrambled.

    Reply
    • Rachel — sorry about the print issue! I just added the recipe into my ziplist plugin, so you should be able to print just a single page right now. Hope that helps!

      And, re dough, I had a favorite, too, that I swore I would never tinker with, and then this lahey dough just totally changed my pizza-making method. I now never use a rolling pin, always my hands to just gently stretch the dough out without deflating all of those lovely air pockets. I think it’s worth giving it a go just once. And I would love to hear how it turns out for you!

      Reply
  4. Hi Ali,
    Looks like another winner, just got another flour order (also ordered in bulk). Storing it in dark pantry drawer, should I move it to freezer?

    Reply
    • Laura, hi! If you haven’t had any issues with your flour getting those wheat weevils, then you are probably fine storing it in your drawer. I started storing it in the freezer when we lived in VA, and it was so humid. And I go through periods where I am using the tipo 00 flour all the time, and then periods where it sits for awhile, so I just keep in the freezer to be on the safe side. Hope you are well!

      Reply
  5. This is so lovely! I made this last night for friends, and they all remarked on the wonderful combination of flavors. The pizza dough really is the best–just look at those bubbles and pockets.

    Reply
  6. Oh, shoots… I also have my default pizza dough which I am very picky about, and now I see your post and you are giving me strong temptations… plus, I am hosting a pizza party for five golfing friends of my hubby on Saturday…. your post is spot on!

    What a lovely crust…. what a lovely crumb… what a lovely topping…

    (sigh)

    Reply
    • Oh Sally, thank you! You know, I think in the end, dough doesn’t vary that much from recipe to recipe, but I think the handling is important. Just using a light hand to stretch and top makes all the difference. Hope your party was a success!

      Reply
  7. You’ve got some serious foodies in your midst. Homemade prosciutto?! I like to mingle with folks who think homemade pizza dough is uber ambitious. I’ve been using Roberta’s Pizza dough as posted in the NYTimes, but I need to try the Lahey, it looks so yummy with all of those air bubbles. I wish we had read Delancy at the same time, I could have used a good pizza recipe to satisfy my ridiculous pizza cravings.

    Reply
    • Talley Talley! Your pizzas were so gorgeous! I still haven’t tried the Roberta’s dough, but I’ve been meaning to. And wasn’t Delancey amazing? I haven’t ripped through a book that quickly in ages. I am dying to get to Seattle.

      Reply
  8. Please please please open Nott’s street pizzeria! I will be your first customer! :) we seriously need a nice eatery close by. I bet you will be successful!!! And do we know the same foodie friends? If not, I know a couple I must introduce you to! Think traditional Japanese mixed with fiery exotic Indian flavors, filled with super healthy whole grains! Hope you are enjoying summer! :)

    Reply
  9. Ali, how long can the dough stay in the fridge? With there just being the two of us it would take a few days to use it all up…

    Reply
    • Hi Laurie! You can keep the dough for 3 days. After that it starts to poop out. Know that you can halve the dough and just make three rounds. Or, after a few days, you can use the dough to make the best focaccia: just throw three of the rounds in an oiled 9×13-inch glass or metal baking dish, let it sit at room temperature for about an hour, spread it out using all ten fingers to dimple and stretch, drizzle with more oil, season with nice salt, and bake at 375 or so until golden, maybe 25 minutes. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  10. Agreed, you are the pizza guru! They always look so simple and elegant but just super flavorful! We did make some pizza with our preserved lemons, homemade ricotta and zaatar. It was sincerely great. So, thank you for that! I have no doubt zucchini ribbons and anchovies are equally wonderful. I think your pizza restaurant idea is perfect! You could serve your friends’ cured meats on the pies :) Dreaming is fun! It keeps us going, I think. I get writer’s block on my blog all the time but the list of dishes I’d serve at my own tavern (in dreamland) is miles long ;) Cheers!

    Reply
    • Oh, thank you, Sophie! Wouldn’t it be a dream? I hate to romanticize it because I know restaurant ownership is so much work and potentially can be no fun at all, but I do love the idea. Cured meats on the pies sounds amazing. Hope you are well!

      Reply
  11. My pizza dough making needs some work! ROFL! I did just fine till it came time to get the first off the peel and onto the pan…That was a disaster! :) The second one looked better because I built it directly on the pan but it came out kind of flat, not pretty like yours and it tasted tough to me….I think that I need to work on honing my pizza making skills! XO!~

    Reply
    • Laurie Laurie! So sorry for the delay here. I’ve been away with the kiddos and some friends for a long weekend. And, I hear you on the transfer. This is why I always use parchment. I know it’s wasteful and kind of wimpy, but it really makes for an easy transfer. I just leave the parchment on the Steel until I take the pizza off 5 minutes later (or I pull the paper out after a couple of minutes.) You need to come to Niskayuna this fall because I am going to be teaching a pizza-making course (and a few others) through the continuing-ed program through the school district. You could totally stay with me! It would be so much fun. I’m sorry for your troubles with the dough :(

      Reply
  12. That is one gorgeous pizza. I can believe what you did with the zucchini strips. Then the pale green of the zucchini with the rich jewel tone green of the basil. It would be a thrill just to have it set down in front of me. Good job!

    Reply
  13. Oh my goodness…what beautiful shots from first to last. There is no doubt that you have pizza…and dough…mastered! Gorgeous! Just loving all of your recipes here.

    Reply
  14. I’ve been craving pizza recently and OMG this post just makes me drool! I’m in full zuchinni mode these days, and a creamy and melty topping is always what I expect from a pizza. And all you other recipes, OMG they all looks so good! And the dough, oh the dough, it looks perfect to me! Not too flat, but still enough in the middle so that it is not too stuffing and cruches nicely under the topping, and soft on the sides. I can imagine its texture in my mouth! (Am I looking like a psycopath pizza lover here?) I wonder if you could freeze the leftlovers? Well anyway I’ll try it soon!

    Reply
    • Haha, not at all! The Lahey dough is pretty ideal as far as texture goes. I have never tried to freeze pizza, but it can’t hurt to try, right? I would love to make homemade frozen pizza — what a treat! Thanks for writing in.

      Reply
  15. I love all your pizzas! And the Jim Lahey dough, too. I also love burrata vs mozzarella on a pizza, so this was just awesome! I might salt and drain the zucchini next time, though. Anywho, let’s bring anchovies back from pizza infamy!

    Reply

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