August 2, 2022

Torn Zucchini Flower Pizza

Recipe: Alice Zaslavsky

“Once you get the hang of making this version of pizza, which is just sublimely pretty with the addition of torn zucchini flowers, you can add whatever toppings tickle your fancy – from truss tomatoes (or even just freshly torn basil for a plain margherita) in summer, to pumpkin and caramelized onion in autumn.” – Alice Zaslavsky


  • 200 g (7 oz) sour cream
  • 200 g (7 oz) fior di latte or mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated, plus extra, torn, to serve (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 baby zucchini, with flowers attached
  • 120 g (4 oz) nduja, crumbled (or finely chopped chorizo)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • basil leaves, to serve
  • crispy chili oil (from Asian grocers), to serve
  • lemon wedges, to serve


  • 3 cups (450 g) bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) lukewarm water
  • 1 zucchini, coarsely grated olive oil, for greasing
  • Flour, for dusting



Make Overnight Dough

  1. Make the overnight dough a day ahead. To do so, place all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix to combine until it forms a sticky wet dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool spot for at least 8 hours, or until doubled in size.
  2. If you’re worried about temperature fluctuations (especially if you’re in a warmer climate), leave the dough in the fridge for 12 hours, or until doubled in size.

Make Pizza

  1. The next day, preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease two non-stick pizza trays with oil.
  2. Add the grated zucchini to the dough and roughly knead to combine. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, stretch out one piece of dough to a circle of 2 cm (3/4 inch) thickness and transfer to a pizza tray. Repeat with the remaining dough, then bake for 10 minutes, or until the base is cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, cheese and nutmeg in a bowl. Remove the flowers from the baby zucchini and tear into pretty strips. Thinly slice the baby zucchini.
  4. Divide the creamy cheese mixture between the pizzas, using the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges. Sprinkle the nduja over, then top with half the zucchini flowers and zucchini slices. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the dough is golden and moves easily from the base of the trays. Sprinkle with basil leaves, the remaining zucchini flowers and slices, and extra cheese, if using. Dollop with crispy chili oil and serve with lemon wedges alongside for squeezing over as the pizzas hit the table.

Tip This is a Roman-style pizza dough, which is quite chewy and dense. If you prefer a ‘soupier’ Napoli-style pizza, I’d suggest ordering a take-away margherita from your best local wood-fired pizza place, and topping with fresh zucchini and mozzarella once you get it home.

Go meat free The nduja is absolutely an optional extra. Switch it out for a tablespoon or two of chili paste, if you like.

Shortcut Some store-bought pizza doughs these days are of a pretty high quality. Look for ones where the ingredients most closely resemble those in this recipe.


Ben Dearnley


Excerpted from In Praise of Veg: The Ultimate Cookbook for Vegetable Lovers by Alice Zaslavsky. Text Copyright © 2022 Alice Zaslavsky. Design and Illustrations Copyright © 2022 by Murdoch Books. Photography Copyright © 2022 by Ben Dearnley. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.