Easy and Delicious Lemon Pizza (with a simple gluten free base)

July 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Pizza is probably one of the trickiest dishes for non-vegans and new vegans to wrap their heads around – after all it’s supposed to be dripping in gooey cheese, right? Long before I was vegan I lived in Melbourne and became obsessed with this roasted garlic pizza from Bimbos in Fitzroy – it was simple and perfect, with no cheese! Just tomato sauce, basil, chilli and a healthy smattering of whole roasted garlic cloves. Torture to recall, man it was good. Ok next pizza idea right there.

Anyway, my point being, let go of your preconceptions about what pizza should be and roll with this. I guarantee you a good time. The lemon idea is another revolutionary one, and courtesy of another excellent pizza joint, Epolitos in Auckland’s One Tree Hill. They serve it with marinated artichokes and the first time I ate it blew my mind.

As for the base, I love thin-crust pizza. The thinner the better. None of that doughy, bready intestine glue thankyouverymuch, it should simply be an elegant vehicle for saucy sauce and zingy toppings. I usually use corn tortillas as they’re gluten free and easy, but I wanted to come up with my own version. Mine are a little thicker than a tortilla but thin enough for my liking. Perhaps not elegant, and definitely not chewy and smoky like a proper gluten-filled woodfired effort, but the kids and I enjoyed them nonetheless.

The tomato sauce is a great way to get a bunch of veges into the kids too, and I haven’t left this one completely devoid of the salty tang of cheese – I have three vegan options below.

Feel free to jazz it up however you like – chilli flakes, tomato slices, aforementioned roasted garlic or marinated artichoke. The world is your pizza.

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Lemon Pizza (gluten free, vegan)
4 mini pizza bases (see recipe below)
Tomato sauce (see recipe below)
1 lemon
Handful fresh basil or rocket
Vegan parmesan (recipe below) or almond feta, or this lovely local brand of the bought stuff

Preheat oven on grill setting to 220degC with your pizza stone or tray under the grill. While it’s heating up, slice the lemon as thinly as possible. Once oven is hot, place pizza bases on the stone or tray and grill for 5 minutes (or fewer, keep checking so they don’t burn). Remove once a little crispy on the edges and flip. Cover in the tomato sauce and lemon slices (and almond feta if using) and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until crispy on the edges. Serve with parmesan sprinkles and fresh basil or rocket.

Pizza Base
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup water
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch each of dried thyme and basil (optional)

Grind the buckwheat groats in a coffee grinder, spice grinder or high speed blender until it makes a flour. Combine with chickpea flour in a bowl with the salt and herbs and gradually pour the water in, stirring constantly to make sure all the lumps are smoothed out. Add melted coconut oil and stir well to combine. Once you’re happy with the consistency, set aside for 20 minutes to thicken up a little.
Once thickened, heat a little oil in a medium frying pan/skillet and pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan, using the back of the ladle to smooth it out so it’s around 3mm thick – it should be a small pancake size. In order that it doesn’t stick, make sure your oil and pan are hot enough before you pour. Once it starts looking dull on top, with lots of bubbles, flip it and cook the other side. Place cooked ‘pancakes’ on a wire rack to cool. This recipe should make 4.

Pizza Sauce
1 tbsp cooking oil (I used avocado)
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup other veg – eg finely chopped broccoli, kale, spinach etc
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sweet basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 jar tomato passata (680ml – or two cans/jars of tomato puree, or two cans of chopped tomatoes)

Heat oil gently in a large heavy frying pan or pot and add onion and carrot. Saute until onion in translucent, then add the other veg and the garlic. Saute for another minute or two, then add herbs and then passata. Add another cup of water and bring to the boil, then turn right down and let it simmer for about an hour, until sauce becomes very thick, all the watery liquid has gone and the vegetables are soft. Set aside.

Vegan Parmesan
3 brazil nuts
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (I like Bob’s red Mill)
1/2 tsp salt

Using a microplane, grate the brazil nuts into a small bowl. Add yeast and salt and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning to your taste. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

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