Hello and welcome to Pizza and a Movie! I suppose it’s technically Fall now, but you still have some summer zucchini, right? Today’s vegetarian pie is so flavorful and texturally beautiful; with zing from fresh lemon and umami richness from black truffle paste. We are skipping the Mozzarella today in favor of nutty Gruyére. One of the superior melting cheeses, Gruyére gives this pizza an extra level of flavor with a smooth and creamy texture. Our movie this week is an older film from 2011, Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese. Let’s get right to it: Zucchini Lemon Pizza with Truffle!
To ensure every single bite of each slice has zucchini, I decided to slice the zucchini in wide strips, rather than rounds. This is an easy job with a Y-peeler. You’ll get long, thin zucchini ribbons. These thin ribbons will also allow me to use them raw – they will cook just enough to take away the raw edge, but not enough to get soggy. I will use about half of one large zucchini. Preheat your home oven to 450 degrees.
For the lemon, use one lemon and slice it into paper-thin rounds. Pull out any seed or seed fragments from each slice. Then I have about 1 cup of freshly grated Gruyére cheese. To top the pie when it comes out of the oven, I have Sabatino Tartufi Black Truffle Paste and a hunk of Pecorino Romano that I will grate over the whole pie. You can go with white truffle paste, instead of black if you like.
Build the Zucchini Lemon Pizza
Spin, stretch or roll your dough out to about 12-inches. Spread an even layer of the grated Gruyére over the dough. Leave a little of the Gruyére aside to top the pizza before it goes into the oven, if you like. Lay the zucchini ribbons over the Gruyére in a slightly overlapping pattern. Then top with fresh lemon slices. Sprinkle on any remaining Gruyére, and we are ready for the oven.
Bake the pizza for about 15 minutes in your home oven, until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden and puffy. It takes about 90 seconds in the wood oven.
When the pizza comes out of the oven, use a teaspoon to dollop some of the truffle paste evenly around the pizza.
Then use a rasp-style grater, or zester to grate fluffy mounds of Pecorino Romano over the whole pie – even the crust!
Zucchini Lemon Pizza!
This is such a simple pizza, but it packs a flavor punch. The truffle paste would do that well enough on its own; but when you add the fresh lemon, the slight bitterness of the rind and the bright pop of lemon really lift the whole pizza to another level. Zucchini adds a vegetal flavor, it’s tender, and has the springy give of raw zucchini. Cooking the fresh lemon takes just enough its raw tartness and bitterness away, giving wonderful balance to this pizza.
Movie Night: Hugo
We have our Zucchini Lemon Pizza ready, let’s get to the movie! Hugo is a totally unexpected film from Martin Scorsese. Based on a book by Brian Selznick, Hugo centers on an orphaned boy who lives in the walls of a Paris train station in the 1930s. In the first half of the film, we see the hero, Hugo Cabret navigating his world in the train station; attending to the upkeep of the station’s clocks, avoiding the station inspector. Hugo is committed to fixing an automaton that his father had tried to fix before his death and it is this desire that leads him to make a friend and discover the real identity of an older man who runs a toy shop in the station.
This film is beautiful; with gorgeous cinematography, direction, set design, costumes and music. When it was originally released in theaters, it was shown as a 3D movie; I wish I could have seen it in that format. A love letter to cinema history and film preservation, Hugo is wonderful film for the whole family, and it’s just as breathtaking for adults. Hugo is available to stream on Netflix.
Thank you all for joining me today for Pizza and a Movie, in case you missed any recent posts in this series, check out the Pizza and a Movie tab. Remember, September is not over yet, so there is still time to email me your pictures of any Djalali Cooks recipes you create. I will compile your images into a Reader’s Favorites post sometime in October. Email your images to firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM them to me on Instagram. Take care and be well everyone! xo Kelly
Zucchini Lemon Pizza with Truffle
Zucchini Lemon Pizza with Truffle is so flavorful and texturally beautiful; with fresh lemon zing and black truffle umami richness.
- 1 Prepared Pizza Dough
- 1 cup Grated Gruyére Cheese
- 1/2 Zucchini, sliced into ribbons
- 1 Lemon, sliced into paper-thin rounds
- Black Truffle Paste (like Sabatino Tartufi Black Truffle Paste)
- Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated over cooked pizza
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
On a floured pizza peel, dust the dough with flour and create a crust around the perimeter of the dough and flatten down the center.
Stretch it out on the backs of your hands, left hand over right hand, until the dough is roughly 12-inches around.
Add more flour evenly on the peel and lay the dough on the peel.
First add a layer of Gruyére cheese, reserving a little bit to top the pizza before it hits the oven.
Lay the zucchini ribbons over the the cheese, in a slightly overlapping pattern.
Top the zucchini with the lemon slices. And sprinkle on the remaining Gruyére.
Bake the pizza for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
When the pizza comes out of the oven, use a teaspoon to dollop as much or as little truffle paste as you like, evenly over the pizza.
Use a rasp-style grater to grate the Pecorino Romano over the top of the whole pie, be sure to top the crust too.
Slice and enjoy!