Grilled Pizza with Squash Blossoms

By now you've seen them: the floppy sunny flowers at the farmer's market, so pretty to look at and delicate to touch. What to do with them besides stroke their soft petals and cringe when a lumpy bag of plums threatens to flatten them in your basket? Sure you can stuff them until they are oozing cheese, roll them in breadcrumbs and deep fry them, but if you are like me, none of that is terribly appealing. Which is why I made this pizza which showcases these end of summer flowers as they are, scattered over a simple white (no red sauce) pizza. And quite frankly, this is one of the best pizzas I've had in a long while.

Squash Blossom Pizza with Sweet Peppers, Onions and Pecorino

Make your own dough or purchase prepared dough. For quick dinners I often purchase good quality dough ready to form from the supermarket.

Makes one (10 x 15-inch) pizza.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Salt

  • 1 prepared pizza dough, about 1 pound

  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced, about 1/2 cup
  • 
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet peppers
  • 
8 squash blossoms, quartered lengthwise

  • 1 (8 ounce) fresh mozzarella ball, patted dry and thinly sliced
  • 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the grill for indirect cooking over high heat (about 500°F for a gas grill) and preheat a pizza stone for at least 15 minutes. (Or preheat the oven to 500°F. Place a pizza stone on the lowest oven rack and preheat for at least 15 minutes).

  2. Whisk the oil, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.

  3. Stretch the dough out as thinly as possible and lay on pizza peel (or rimless baking sheet lined with parchment). Lightly brush with the oil. Sprinkle half of the Pecorino over the pizza. Top with the onions and peppers. Arrange the squash blossoms over the vegetables, then place the mozzarella around the squash. Sprinkle the oregano, chili flakes and pepper over the pizza and lightly season with salt. Top with the remaining Pecorino.

  4. Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. Close the grill lid and grill until the pizza is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove and brush the crust with some of the oil. Drizzle any remaining oil over the pizza. Cut into serving pieces and serve immediately.