Around August, Italians with a garden (which is just about all the ones I know) start getting creative about how to use their zucchini. They mostly let Americans dabble in cakes and breads and muffins. They prefer something more savory. We have made lots of interesting dishes, including zucchini stuffed with rice or sausage and topped with mozzarella, matchstick zucchini fries (totally addictive), zucchini and corn in pancakes, zucchini parmigiana, zucchini with pasta and mussels, boiled zucchini (for those trying to be healthy), zucchini in place of spaghetti and topped with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, and the list goes on.
The other night, we had two giant zucchini sitting on the counter. My mom had stuffed one with ground beef and ricotta, and I was left holding the other one in my hand. The kids were already refusing the stuffed version. My nephew was demanding pizza. So, I decided I would give him pizza. This is what I did:
Zucchini (peeled and cut into 1-inch thick slices)
Pre-heat your grill. Line a hefty metal baking sheet with heavy aluminum foil. Coat the foil with olive oil. Place the zucchini slices on the foil-lined tray. Put a Tbsp of tomato sauce on top of each slice. (For our sauce, I simply saute two peeled garlic cloves in olive oil in a sauce pan, add a can of tomato sauce, add oregano and basil from the garden, a pinch of salt and a smaller pinch of sugar to remove acidity of canned tomatoes. Then, I let it boil and simmer for no more than five minutes.) Finally, I top each zucchini slice with a piece of fresh mozzarella. I put it on the grill and cooked it for about 5 to 10 minutes on medium-high. I have a gas grill, but you could definitely do this with a charcoal grill or even an oven. If you use the oven, however, I would wait to top the zucchini and sauce with the cheese until it’s almost done. Otherwise, the cheese might get brown or burn.
Now, the grown-ups really enjoyed these pizzas. I had them for lunch the next day, too. My nephew only ate the cheese. My son did take an actual bite and give it a decent try. But he decided he did not like it and would not eat anymore of it after that. Still, that bite is a big win for me.