Zucchini & tarragon pizza bianca

This summery pizza is one of the simplest that I make. But with its mild flavors from the fresh mozzarella paired with the charred zucchini , the fresh tarragon and zing from the pink peppercorns it’s incredibly flavorful.

We tried zucchini on a pizza on our way back from a persuasive technology conference at the University of Padova in Italy in 2014. Since then I’ve wondered how the heck they could make a pizza with zucchini without it turning soggy. Turns out the secret is osmosis.

What the heck is osmosis then? In plain, applicable kitchen chemistry, it means that if you salt something, the salt will draw out moisture from a piece of meat or, in this case, a zucchini. By drawing out the moisture before you cook it, you’ll end up with a flavorful, non-soggy zucchini with crispy, charred edges.

Ingredients

Dough:

If your oven can go up to minimum 250C, and you have a pizza stone/steel, then consider the Neapolitan style pizza. Otherwise, it would be wise to use the Sicilian style that needs a lot less heat to become spectacular.

Sauce:

  • None

Topping:

  • 1 ball fresh Mozzarella (120-ish grams)
  • 1 zucchini, thinly slices on a mandolin
  • Handful fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • Pink peppercorns, freshly milled
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • Top quality olive oil

Method

Make the dough according to recipe

Finely slice the zucchini on a mandolin, toss with salt and let sit for minimum 60 minutes. Pat dry with a kitchen towel and toss with olive oil. Set aside.

Preheat the oven according to dough recipe.

Shape the pizza, tear up and dot the mozzarella evenly around, distribute the zucchini. Bake the pizza according to dough recipe.

When done, transfer to a wire rack, and give it a drizzle high quality olive oil, grate the lemon zest (if using), and top with the tarragon and a few turns pink peppercorns.

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