When gardens go wild: Low Carb Pattypan Crustless Pizza Recipe

July 26th, 2011 yum Posted in Egg Free, Garden, Hide your Veggies, Low Carb, Nut Free, Pizza, Rice Free, Soy Free, Vegan Option, Vegetables, Vegetarian, corn free, grain-free, low-sugar, tapioca starch free 14 Comments »


The DH and I have always dreamed of having our own garden. It is a bit hard to do when you live in an apartment, and the only access you have to the great outdoors is on your balcony. Nevertheless, we managed to grow a few tomatoes and basil plants, and were happier because of it. When we bought a house we went a bit wild, and transformed a fourth of our back yard from a neglected underutilized corner to a bustling organic gardening paradise, complete with homemade redwood planters. Once we had the planters, we had to put something in them. We chose a wild assortment of the most exotic things we could think of- purple bush beans, dragon carrots, candy radishes, purple tomatillos, and a ton of squash and gorgeous heirloom potatoes. Ok, squash isn’t usually exotic, but it has a certain appeal to lifetime apartment dwellers because it is not generally something that you can grow on a balcony. (Amazing container gardening magic aside.) The plants were in, the DH put in a drip watering system, and then we waited for the bounty to come rolling in. And roll in it did, with pattypan squash seemingly bursting into existence on the vine right along with fourth of July fireworks.
This gave me pause. I had the basics of organic gardening thanks to reading and a class at Love Apple Farm, but one thing I hadn’t researched was when to harvest my beauties. When was I supposed to take the pattypan off the vine? I wasn’t really sure, but they rapidly grew to an impressive size that I’d never seen at farmer’s market harvest. Why did they pick them when they were so small? I felt rather proud of their size.

Then I went online to research the correct harvesting of pattypan. Whoops. Turns out if you let them get large, supposedly they get rather woody and coarse. I was disheartened but couldn’t believe they could really be that bad. People let zucchini get big, after all. Besides, looking at them gave me an idea. They were such nice, round shapes, and I was reminded of my old traditional eggplant parmesan recipe. They would be the perfect size for a personal pizza un-crust. So, I dipped them in a spiced oil and vinegar marinade and put them on the grill to soften them and add flavor. Then I topped them with a really good pizza sauce and cheese. For my dairy-free Mother, I made a few with Daiya cheese instead. The cheese melted and got all bubbly and delicious, and when I got a bite, I didn’t miss a grain crust at all! They were delicious, and the “hard” rind added structure and texture to the crust but the soft squash interior was still soft and delicious. I did notice that the larger they got, the larger their seeds were, and the center of the round was a bit softer than the rest. It could still hold up to a pizza topping, though, and was easy to eat with a fork, although I wouldn’t try to eat it with my hands just because it is a bit messier than a regular pizza.

I’ve been experimenting with my other giant pattypan and have found that they taste just as good as the littler ones. I like a sturdier squash anyway, and one of my biggest complaints over (bad) zucchini or yellow squash recipes is when they get mushy. It is hard to make these giant pattypan mushy, and they take on flavor and are just delicious sauteed in oil. I did prefer to peel them for sauteed applications as otherwise the rind is hard to eat. It reminds me of kabocha squash, actually.

So, if like me you have monster pattypan growing out of control in your garden- take heart! You can still enjoy them, in a fun way generally only possible when you have a home garden or belong to a garden co-op. You could also try mini pattypan pizzas with farmer market or supermarket babies. In that case, you would probably have to simply slice them in half and take care not to overcook them. They should be just as delicious either way!


Other Pattypan Recipes:
Fried Pattypan Squash Recipe
Pattypan Squash Recipe
Stuffed Pattypan Squash Recipe
Herbed Pattypan Squash Medley Recipe
Simple Pattypan Squash Recipe
Vegan Stuffed Pattypan Squash Recipe

Other innovative recipes using squash as a “crust”:
Butternut Squash Crust Quiche Recipe

Shared with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Seasonal Sunday

Pattypan Crust-less Pizza Recipe
Ingredients
Mutant, overgrown pattypan squash (5 or more inches diameter)

Marinade:
Olive oil
dash of white balsamic vinegar (brown is fine but will discolor your “pizza” crust)
your favorite multi-herb blend seasoning (italian or other)
salt (if not included in above herb blend)

Topping:
High Quality Pizza Sauce such as Muir Glen Organic
Grated mozzarella OR Daiya equivalent for dairy-free, vegan

Fresh basil for garnish

Directions
Slice your monster Pattypan beasts into 1/2 inch thick slices appropriate for mini-pizzas.

Whisk oil, vinegar, spices and salt together in a pie tin or other medium-sized dish with sides. Keep in mind that pattypan are like eggplant. They are greedy little sponges for oil. Make more than you think you need. Dip both sides pattypan slices in seasoned oil and reserve on a large plate.

Heat your grill or grill pan to a high searing temperature. Lightly shake off any excess oil from your pattypan slices and place them on your grill. Sear and then lower temperature to medium. Let slices soften, and then turn to sear and cook the other side. You want your pattypan tender but not mushy.

You have two options for the pizza preparation if you are using a grill. You can either place your topping on top of your seared pattypan crust in the grill, close the lid and allow the heat to melt the cheese, or you can reserve your slices and heat the topping in the broiler of your oven. The latter option will result in more browning, so I found I preferred to use the broiler. For broiler option, place pattypan slices on a baking sheet and place under broiler on high. Remove when cheese is melted and has browned. You can use Daiya cheese as a dairy-free alternative, but it will not brown in the same way so just remove when melted.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Gluten-free Dairy-free Persimmon Amaranth Muffin Recipe

November 21st, 2010 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Dairy Free, Easy, Muffin, Rice Free, Sorghum, tapioca starch free 8 Comments »

I can’t believe how long it has been since I posted a recipe here at the Book of Yum! Between Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, San Francisco Restaurant Adventures, and then getting horribly sick with Pneumonia, I just haven’t been doing much of interest in the kitchen. However, I’m feeling better, my kitchen has been organized just how I like it with a billion spices lined up on spice shelves on the counter and my gluten-free flours in nicely labeled tupperware in the pantry, and I’ve been getting inspired by the fruit trees in our new yard to start creating! Recently our persimmon tree reminded us of Autumn by bursting forth with lots of vibrantly orange persimmons. To tell you the truth, I’ve not done much with persimmons. I’ve barely snacked on them, and I don’t see myself developing a passion for the fruit on its own. So, what to do with all of these lovely fruits? Searching online I’ve found some interesting ideas. I followed one suggestion and used the persimmon fruit as pulp in a Pumpkin-inspired bread sans pumpkin. It was good, but turned out a bit too oily for my taste, so I’ll be continuing to work on that one. However, I was perusing an old Veggie Live magazine and came across an article on unusual flours that featured a recipe for amaranth-wheat muffins that used chopped pear as an accent. It occurred to me that since persimmons resemble pears in texture and mild flavor (just go with me here) that maybe I could make something similar using amaranth flour minus the dairy, gluten, and substituting persimmons for pears. I have been somewhat critical of amaranth in the past, but here it harmonizes beautifully with the fresh ground cardamon and is considerably mellowed by the accompanying gluten-free flours. If you really can’t stand amaranth, you could try another high protein flour (garbanzo or chestnut) or brown rice flour as a substitute. I haven’t tried this so you will be venturing into new territory. Muffins are a bit tricky egg free, in my opinion, but you could try substituting ener-g egg replacer eggs or flax seed eggs and see how it goes. A bit of persimmon puree might help things along egg-free as well. I’m thinking of how some people substitute banana or applesauce for one egg in a recipe. One fake egg and perhaps similar quantity of persimmon puree? It might work (but I make no promises). If you do go egg-free, you might want to add a teaspoon of xanthan. With eggs and the sugar in the recipe, I just don’t find it necessary, but I’m a rebel that way. Tell me about it in the comments if you come up with any fun variations!

My father and mother-in-law are visiting from Colorado and so I was happy to have something to offer them as a snack. They both seemed to enjoy them. My husband, who has been away on a business trip overseas for the past two weeks, gobbled them up and told me he would buy them in a store… on purpose. High praise for a humble gluten-free muffin with home-harvested fruit.

I know I should be posting about pumpkin pie and vegetarian stuffing- but right now apples and persimmons are the hot news in my yard. In case you have relatives to feed for brunch and your own persimmon stash lying around- I hope this recipe comes in handy. And if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go and have myself a seasonal… and delicious… gluten-free persimmon muffin.

.

Amaranth Persimmon Muffins with Streusel Topping
Ingredients
Streusel:
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp whole grain gluten-free flour like sorghum
2 tbsp amaranth flour
3 tbsp dairy free margarine (I used Earth Balance)

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup your favorite gluten-free flour blend OR 3/4 cup sorghum flour and 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins

Liquid ingredients:
1 1/2 cup dairy-free milk such as soy with 1/2 to 1 tsp lemon juice added
2 extra-large eggs or your favorite egg substitute
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 large persimmon, peeled and diced (can substitute pear, apple, or asian pear if you prefer)

margarine, shortening, cooking spray or paper muffin cup liners

Directions
Prepare 2 regular muffin tins by lining with paper liners, spraying with cooking spray, or greasing with shortening or dairy-free margarine.

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine streusel ingredients in a small bowl and mix with pastry blender, fork, or your fingers until you have pastry clumps.

Put dry ingredients in a large bowl and blend together with a large spoon or spatula.

Whisk liquid ingredients through the grapeseed oil together in a medium bowl. When they are combined, add the diced persimmon or other fruit and gently stir to combine.

Pour the liquid ingredients including the persimmon in with the dry ingredients and fold together. Combine as efficiently as possible without over-mixing.

Carefully fill each muffin cup halfway full, or up to 2/3 full if you have enough batter. I ended up leaving two muffin cups empty because I filled one muffin tin 2/3 full and the other more like 1/2 full. Sprinkle streusel on top of each unbaked muffin.

Put in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button