Fighting Windmills (French Fridays with Dorie: Roasted Vegetable Pizzas)

Now there are two things I need to get out of the way right up front today:

1) There is no fresh tuna, mozzarella or basil in my fresh tuna, mozzarella and basil pizza today.

2) I am going to figure out a way to tie roasted vegetable pizzas and windmills together if it kills me.

Consider yourselves warned...

I realize that I should be featuring beautiful ahi tuna, surrounded by creamy mozzarella, tangy radishes and fresh tendrils of basil - resting gently on a bed of puff pastry.

As I've already pointed out, you won't see that here today. 

I blame it on the horses.

The weekend that I was making this was the weekend of The Travers Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course. Each summer, Saratoga Springs, NY comes alive during the month of August when the thoroughbreds come into town to take their chances at the Saratoga Race Course. It's kind of a big deal. The Travers is one of the most notable races of the season and things get a little crazy around town that weekend.

To get to the fishmonger that would have the correct grade of ahi, I would have had to drive right through the middle of all that craziness. Normally, I would be up for that; but for whatever reason I was in smack dab in the middle of a cranky spell.

Cranky Cher + jammed up city = good reason to stay home. That's real talk.

The presence of a lot of squash and a tub of Boursin sent me down the path of a roasted vegetable pizza.

So, now you have all taken a trip down the path of Cher logic.

Speaking of horses, do you know who had a horse? Don Quixote.

Do you know what I think of when I think of Don Quixote?


Driving home from Runner Girl's race last weekend, we took a detour to drive past the Hardscrabble  windmill farm. I don't know why I find windmills so fascinating, but I do. I find it ironic that the windmill farm is smack dab in the middle of a farm-farm. (Hence, the cow crossing signs on the road that runs through the farm.)

However, unlike Don Quixote I did not try to fight the windmills with my sword. I am pretty sure the windmills would win that battle.

See, I told you that I would figure out how to tie roasted vegetable pizza and windmills together.

I consider my work here done...

Peace out.

Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Adapted from Around My French Table
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 small zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tbs fresh marjoram
Olive oil (~2 Tbs)
Salt & pepper
1 cup Boursin spread
1-2 Tbs balsamic vinegar (optional)
To prep the base:
Preheat oven to 400F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to an 11 inch square. Using a sharp knife or a pastry wheel, cut the dough into four equal pieces. Place the dough squares on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Place a second sheet of parchment on top of the dough and weigh down with a second baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully remove the top baking sheet and parchment. If the pastry is not golden brown at this point, bake a few more minutes until the pastry is golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
To prepared the roasted vegetables:
While the puff pastry is baking, prepare the vegetable packet.
Place the chopped squash and zucchini on a large sheet (12 inch x 12 inch) sheet of tin foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the marjoram over top of the vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fold up the edges of the foil up around the vegetables into a packet - leaving a slight hole at the top for steam to escape. Place the packet on a rimmed baking sheet (just in case there is liquid seepage) and place into the already heated oven (maintaining 400F temperature). Bake the vegetable for 15-20 minutes - until they have become tender and start to show signs of caramelization. Remove the packet from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
To assemble:
Spread an even layer of Boursin on each of the cooled pastry squares. Divide the roasted vegetables among the squares and drizzle with a small amount of balsamic vinegar, if desired. May be enjoyed slightly warm or at room temperature.
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. I'd take roasted zucchini on my pizza instead of radishes any day, and I sure wouldn't drive through a traffic jam just to buy tuna. There's very little that I'd deliberately head into a traffic jam for.

  2. "I am going to figure out a way to tie roasted vegetable pizzas and windmills together if it kills me." You crack me up Cher. Nice "iteration" of this week's recipe!

  3. Too funny! And I love the cow crossing sign...reminds me of home. And your pizzas sound scrumptious :)

  4. Hi Cher! This post has it all, I like it when you talk the real talk! Your pizzas are right up my alley-love the veggies and also don't like being jammed up in traffic for tuna ;)

  5. Great revision! And, all I see are windmills when I visit my friend in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

  6. Nice idea. I'm always looking for ways to use summer squash, and anything would taste good on puff pastry!

  7. Looks like a great Cher version. You should add the green onions next time. That was my favorite part. Have a great weekend.

  8. Hi Cher! Thank you for this wonderful dinner plan! Making this tonight--you always inspire! Those giant fans scare me. I don't know why.

  9. BC ( Before Children) my husband and I used to go up to that race. Saratoga is such a beautiful town. I don't blame you for not wanting to go through the craziness. You made a really great end of summer pizza.

  10. Love Boursin! as well as your connection of pizza and windmills. Your vegetable pizza looks delish!

  11. Haha I get almost hypnotised as well by the windmills!
    This looks like a delicious pizza!


  12. Your pizza looks great, and very healthy. Those windmills are so interesting to watch,
    the first time I saw them was in California a few years ago. Being retired, I feel that
    way about shopping on weekends when everyone else is around. It's not worth the
    trouble to deal with crowds. Happy weekend.

  13. LOL! I feel that way when we get crazy season here in the desert, that would be the months of November through April when all the tourists, old farts, retirees, cranky people who don't know how to drive descend on the Coachella Valley.

    I like how you wrapped up veggie pizza, horse races and windmills. Way to go Cher Quixote!

  14. Hey, I am totally on board with your subs, and windmills.

  15. I'm very much more interested in your roasted veg pizza than the tuna one! I love Don Quixote, so many life lesson there. I can relate completely with staying at home instead of facing the crowds, especially if I have to drive.

  16. The valiant Cher would have faced the giants... er, windmills, with her pizza pan shield and chef's knife. That's a pretty cool tray you've got there!

    I have most of the ingredients in the house to make the pizza per the recipe, but somehow tuna and mozzarella don't go together in my head.

  17. I know that feeling of being too cranky to face the crowds to go shopping. In fact, I feel that way right now. No idea what we are going to have for dinner. I'm guessing some form of spaghetti. But I'd much rather have a plate of those tasty-looking veggie pizzas.

  18. Should it scare us or reassure us that I always follow your stories and narrative so perfectly?

  19. Ooooo…I love your version of this pizza! They look amazing! You are too funny, Cher…I really am looking forward to meeting you in Seattle! We live in a town that seriously grows during the summer months. I hate fighting all the crowds!

  20. Yum! I have zucchini to use up and leftover puff pastry in the freezer...looks like I might have to try your "Not Fresh Tuna, Mozzarella, and Basil pizza"!

  21. Funny and real. Love it. And love that pizza (which I have yet to make.....but I did get the veal done :))You are also making me really miss visiting Saratoga. I order cases of their blue bottled sparkling water, which I first enjoyed in a restaurant in downtown Saratoga, and try to get over there when up in Vermont. It is embarrassing because we have not been up in a long time so I tend to get like 8 or 9 cases when I do make it. I am sure they are wondering whether we have bottled water in Philly. Not like that we don't :) PS- saw huge series of windmills- the newfangled kind- in the Loire valley with Nana recently. Could not believe it- it actually really disappointed me to see so many of them in this gorgeous area but they were near a highway and not in "chateau view" so I guess all is well. Ah progress.....


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