squash blossom, roasted tomato & pesto pie

Squash blossoms.  Those glorious golden blooms.  Not only beautiful but delicious, too.  Those edible flowers should be available to us this time of year …thanks to the summer squash and zucchini plants.  Actually, it’s not so easy to get your hands on them.  You may be able to find them at a specialty food store or perhaps at the local farmers’ market.  If you’re lucky enough to snag some, they can be stuffed and fried, baked in a frittata, used as a pizza topping or enjoyed raw …as a colorful and flavorful garnish.

This weekend my son and daughter-in-law surprised me with a container of the most amazing squash blossoms that they found at their local farmers’ market.  Or I should say …my two-year-old grandson, Dylan, surprised me with them.  He couldn’t wait to present them to me.  Such a cutie, that one.

After doing a bit of research online, I decided to use them to top a savory pesto pizza.  Thanks to Alison of Two Of A Kind Cooks, I found the perfect recipe for a pie that would showcase my treasures.  I switched it up a bit, but the basic formula is all hers.  Please bear with me while I share a few pictures of these beauties.

Okay. I think I need to move on from the whole squash blossom thing.  Let’s get the tomatoes in the oven.  They need to hang out in there for about 30 minutes.

While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare the toppings and roll out the dough.  This recipe makes one large pie or two small ones.  Choose the size and shape that works for you.

The tomatoes are done when they are blistered and aromatic.  Be sure to let them cool before placing them on the pie.  And, by the way, these are so good that you may want to consider doubling the amount of tomatoes that you roast …then save the excess for serving with crostini and cheese.  I used a mixture of cherry tomatoes …yellow “sunbursts” and red “glory’s.”

Once the tomatoes are cooled and the toppings are prepped, it’s time to create the most amazing tasty pizza.

Okay.  That’s the last squash blossom close-up.  I promise.  Until next time, that is.

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squash blossom, roasted tomato & pesto pie

Adapted from Two Of A Kind Cooks

Servings 1 large pie or 2 small pies

Ingredients

For the tomatoes

  • 16 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the pizza

  • 16 ounces prepared pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto (about 4.5 ounces)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 18 to 20 ciliegine (small mozzarella balls), halved (about 6.5 ounces)
  • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 8 to 10 squash blossoms
  • chopped fresh oregano, for garnish

Instructions

For the tomatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, if preferred.

  2. Place tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and chopped thyme; toss to coat.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool completely before using.

For the pizza

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the prepared dough to the desired shape and thickness.  If the dough is resisting, let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Transfer to baking sheets or pizza pans lined with parchment paper.

  3. Spread pesto over the dough in an even layer all the way to the edges and then sprinkle with garlic.
  4. Place ciliegine and roasted tomatoes evenly on pizza.  Sprinkle with Asiago cheese and lay squash blossoms over the top.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.  Garnish with fresh herbs.  Serve immediately.

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