My priority is always to make delicious pizzas, but sometimes it’s fun to come up with ones that are particularly pretty, too! Isn’t this one delightfully summery with its shades of yellow and orange? Of course, it’s also tasty (I wouldn’t post it otherwise!), but don’t forget to appreciate how pretty yours looks as you make it.
Normally when I use ricotta on a pizza, I prefer to put little dollops of it on as a finishing touch after baking. For this one, though, it’s baked onto the pizza to add an extra texture of melted cheese. Feel free to do it either way — or try both to see how much one simple change can affect the final result.
The flavors on this pizza are as sunny and summery as the colors. The squash is delicate and sweet, the mustard is bright and tangy, the flowers are bright, and the bee pollen adds a honey-floral note that you smell more than taste. Just be sure to put the pollen on as soon as you pull the pizza out of the oven, so the residual heat can help it release its flavor and aroma.
Pizza with Yellow Squash, Ricotta, Bee Pollen, Mustard Seed, and Calendula
- 1 pizza dough ball (either basic pizza dough or 2-hour pizza dough is fine)
- 1 small yellow squash
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (rice wine or champagne vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup ricotta
- 3 ounces mozzarella, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon bee pollen
- 1 to 2 small edible flowers
Roast the squash:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with your pizza stone inside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Trim the top and bottom off the yellow squash. Using a mandoline (or a very sharp knife), thinly slice the squash lengthwise.
- Toss the squash slices with enough olive oil to generously coat, along with salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the squash slices in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and beginning to brown on a few edges, turning once halfway through.
- As soon as the squash is done, remove it from the oven and turn the heat up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare the mustard-seed topping:
- While the squash roasts, put the 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/4 cup of water, and a pinch of salt in a very small pot.
- Cook over very low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. The mustard seeds should become tender, and the other ingredients will form a gooey coating. As the mixture cools, the coating will thicken.
- Note: this makes about twice as much mustard topping as you need, but it’s very difficult to make in a smaller quantity.
Season the ricotta:
- Mix the 1/4 cup of ricotta with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust, if necessary.
Prepare and bake the pizza:
- Stretch the dough to an approximately 12” round. Brush with olive oil.
- Arrange the mozzarella evenly over the crust, then spread the roasted squash slices on top.
- Add the seasoned ricotta in medium-sized dollops.
- Bake the pizza until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden-brown, turning once halfway through.
- When the pizza is done, add half of the mustard-seed mixture in small dollops. Sprinkle the pizza with the 1 teaspoon of bee pollen, pull the petals off the edible flowers and sprinkle them on top, then enjoy.