Gluten-free pizza crust recasts garden zucchini
Abundant garden zucchini often prompts my penchant for making pizza.
I slice the squash as thinly as possible and arrange it in concentric circles on a pizza crust in the same manner as salami or pepperoni. Sometimes it’s interspersed with salami and pepperoni for my kids’ pleasure. When I have my way, it’s a full-on vegetarian pie with tomato, olives, artichoke hearts, fresh basil and feta cheese.
What about zucchini not just on — but as — pizza? That’s the concept behind zucchini crust pizza, which is finding favor with the gluten-free crowd just as cauliflower crust did a few years back. I think this is no mere gimmick, however, but a genius way to use up extraneous garden zucchini when you just can’t handle another slice of zucchini bread.
Here is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s version of a dish I’ve also seen touted by numerous nutrition sources. It’s basically a bed of shredded zucchini bound with eggs, grated cheese and flour. Parbake it, then top it with whatever you like.
Gluten-free flour can be substituted for whole wheat. And make sure to grease the pizza pan or cookie sheet well, or line it with parchment paper. The thinner you spread the zucchini crust, the quicker it will bake.
Zucchini Crust Pizza
2 cups grated zucchini (from about 2 7-inchers)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Topping suggestions: sliced tomato, extra mozzarella (sliced or grated), thinly sliced garlic or peppers, mushrooms, and sliced olives.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a 10-inch pie pan or baking sheet with nonstick spray or grease with oil and coat lightly with flour.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the zucchini, eggs, flour, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, basil, oregano and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Press crust into a greased pie plate (for extra-thick pizza) or spread in a circle or square on a greased cookie sheet or pizza pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes and then remove crust from oven.
Brush with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned and crispy at edges and topping is heated through.
Makes 4 servings.