During the summer, the best time for pizza night is whatever day you hit the farmers market. Whether you shop with a plan or simply buy whatever looks good in the moment, this template teaches you how to transform your haul of fresh veggies and herbs into an irresistible pizza that tastes like summer. It will be cheesy and indulgent, thanks to a layer of herby ricotta and stringy mozzarella, and balanced with a mess of fresh toppings.
Here's What to Pick Up at the Farmers Market
All the toppings for this pizza can come straight from the farmers market. Pick up everything from the herbs and summer squash, to the bell pepper and mushrooms we suggest in the recipe below, or grab any other fresh, of-the-moment produce that looks good to you. This is more of a template than a strict recipe. Get the basics down, and you can swap in different veggies and herbs based on what you have handy. Depending on your farmers market, you might even be able to snag some good local ricotta and mozzarella.
- Any herb
- Summer squash
- Bell pepper
- Red onion
The basic template for farmers market pizza:
any herb + 2 or more veggies from above + pizza dough + ricotta and shredded mozzarella
Can't find something on the list of ingredients, or spot something different at the market that's too good to pass up? No problem! This pizza is a template rather than a recipe, so revisions are encouraged. It's more important to pay attention to the building blocks you need to make it.
How to Pick the Best Zucchini and Summer Squash
Right about now, zucchini and summer squash are everywhere. As you shop the market, remember that bigger isn't always better. Size matters when buying squash, and it's best to stick with smaller pieces which have more flavor, fewer seeds, and a lower water content than their large counterparts. Summer squash come in a variety of color, and no matter which you choose, look for squash that have a vibrant, rich color. Look for zucchini that still have a good chunk of the stem attached, as those ones will last longer.
Your Pizza Can Handle Your Farmers Market Haul
The best farmers market pizza always starts with more vegetables than you think you need. As the pizza cooks, the vegetables cook down, shrink, and have a tendency to spread apart. This pie calls for plenty of toppings to be piled on the dough, to be sure you get an assortment of tender veggies and herbs in every bite.
Always Buy Fresh Herbs at the Farmers Market!
PSA: Do not leave the farmers market without a bunch of fresh herbs (any type of herb!) in your tote. Not only are they stocked in abundance and totally inexpensive right now, but fresh herbs are also a small addition that make such a big difference in just about any recipe.
Farmers Market Pizza
1 pound pizza dough, store bought or homemade
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick half moons
1/2 small yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick half moons
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450°F. Let the pizza dough sit out a room temperature while the oven heats.
Mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, chopped basil, salt, and red pepper flakes if using in a small bowl; set aside.
Lightly grease a rolling pin with olive oil. Roll out the pizza dough to fit a standard 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, then use your fingers to gently press the dough into the corners of the pan.
Spread the cheese mixture over the dough, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Arrange the vegetables over the top of the cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, or coat the veggies with a thin layer of cooking spray.
Bake until the edges are golden-brown, 16 to 20 minutes. Top with the Parmesan and basil leaves, and let the pizza cool for 1 to 2 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.
- Storage: Leftover pizza can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Farmers Market Suppers
Shopping the farmers market for seasonal veggies and herbs is one of the greatest joys of summer. It's so easy to get excited by all the fresh produce of the moment and fill a tote with a little bit of everything. If you don't have a plan, figuring out what to do with your haul once you get home can feel a little overwhelming. This series will help change that. We're sharing five versatile and delicious templates that will teach you how to turn any farmers market purchase into dinner.
These photos were shot at The Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market in Flemington, New Jersey.