Spring Mediterranean Gluten Free Potluck: Allergy Free Vegetarian Pizza Recipe

Pesto Grilled Veggie Pizza- one on Chebe crust (front) and the other slice (back) on Carol’s crust…

potlucktreats.jpgLast weekend Dh and I hosted the monthly potluck for our Celiac Bay Area group. I had sent out a call for food matching a “spring mediterranean” theme, and we ended up with an absolutely amazing feast. Just goes to show, this whole gluten-intolerance thing can inspire some serious creativity in the kitchen! For appetizers we had Bruschetta made on Mariposa Bakerires GF DF NF Baguette, Caponata on the same bruschetta toast, Dolma (Stuffed Grape AND Stuffed Cabbage Leaves with veg and non-veg versions). We also had a lovely salad, and then… the main course dishes! We had TONS of pizza. I guess when gluten-free folks like myself think mediterranean, we can’t help but think PIZZA! One thing about our group that keeps things interesting is that we aren’t all JUST gluten-free. We also have folks with other allergies to things like beans, dairy, eggs, and even nuts. So, I always try to make a little extra effort so everyone can eat as many things as possible. With that in mind, I modified the heck out of a flatbread recipe by Bette Hagman to make an olive flatbread with no DAIRY, no SOY, no EGGS, and no NUTS. I also made some special pizzas using Carol Fenster’s awesome pizza recipe (a staple in my house for the last ten years at least, I swear!) with no allergens that were also just plain YUMMY! I made two kinds of “pesto” pizzas- one for our super-complex-allergy member out of slow roasted tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and high quality olive oil with NO NUTS whatsoever, and then a variation on my usual dairy-free basil pesto pizzas. Then I topped both with various home grilled veggies as the spirit moved me. I also made some variations with cheese because it DOES add a little extra flavor oomph— but I do think that pizza doesn’t need it to be scrumptious. Other members brought non-veg cheese pizzas, and another brought a moroccan orange non-veg dish, and a vegetarian ratatouille. carrotcake.jpgWe had one special guest- Dana from Gluten-free Gourmet, a baker who has recently started selling her gluten-free products at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. Dana brought a shrimp-cheese pizza and a delicious carrot cake with cheese frosting to share with us for dessert. Non-GF DH thoroughly enjoyed it- although I think for him, it was all about the frosting. I thought it was an excellent treat as well, and just wish Saratoga wasn’t so far away! (You can see the photo of Dana’s treat on the left.) Speaking of dessert, one talented member actually brought Fresh Orange Slices with Honey and Cinnamon as well as Turkish Delight, a.k.a. Lokum. I made No-refined-sugar, dairy-free, soy-free Coconut Lemon Bars. (I’ll be sharing the recipe soon.) For beverages we had a variety of wines and Dugh, a very intriguing Fizzy Yogurt Drink. (Really! fizzy! Think a salty lassi with bubbles.) It was an amazing feast.

And now- for the recipes! One of the most interesting recipes that I made for this potluck was a totally allergen-free sundried tomato pizza. As you may know, I have been happily using Carol Fenster’s pizza recipe, available at her Savory Palate web site and in many of her books, for a very long time. I have developed some special tricks for working with the dough over the years that I really wanted to share it with you, but since I don’t publish recipes by gluten-free cookbook authors without permisison, I emailed Carol Fenster for permission to reprint a modified version of the recipe. She graciously gave permission, so you can see the recipe below, modified to be dairy free and vegetarian and including my dough tricks. Carol recently released Gluten-Free Quick & Easy: From Prep to Plate Without the Fuss. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it’s full of great recipes just like her others. Two of my favorite gluten-free recipes ever have come from Carol Fenster- her pizza crust and her equally yummy flatbread. I also like her recipes for their flexibility with flours- if you have multiple flour allergies besides gluten, you can easily adjust her master flour blends to accommodate those intolerances, with excellent results. So, if you haven’t tried any of Carol’s recipes yet- I hope you will, and if you’re a long term fan like many of us, I hope you’ll take this chance to check out her new cookbook!

For another grilled veggie pizza, see my post on The Best Gluten-Free Pizza ever.

Adapted Carol Fenster’s Pizza Crust Recipe
1 tablespoon dry yeast

2/3 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning OR “pasta seasoning” mix like Trader Joe’s

2/3 cup warm non-dairy milk (110) (rice etc.)

1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Put a pizza stone on the bottom rack, leaving the main rack free.

Combine dry ingredients in your mixer, including yeast. Then add the liquid ingredients slowly and beat the ingredients for two minutes. If the dough bounces around the mixer, it’s too dry, so add extra liquid a little at a time until it will mix smoothly.

Prepare a pizza pan by greasing it either with nonstick baking spray (NO FLOUR VARIETY) or grease the pizza pan with a little olive oil.

Next, take your mixed dough and either split it for two mini pizzas or use it for one large pizza. throw your dough on the pizza pan (rectangular pan for two, round for one) and take a freezer-quality ziploc bag. Either spray with nonstick baking spray OR grease with a little olive oil. Put your hand inside the bag and use it to spread the dough out into a pizza shape, giving the dough a little rim around the edge to hold the toppings.

Bake for ten minutes and then remove from the oven. I like to baste the crust in oil from sundried tomato pesto. Cover the pizza with your desired toppings and then move the pizza stone to the middle rack and put your covered pizza on the pizza stone and bake it for at least ten minutes or until the pizza is done.

THIS PHOTO SHOWS THE HALF-BAKED DOUGH BEFORE THE second-baking on the pizza stone. After baking the second time, especially after pesto basting, the dough turns golden brown. The pizza stone really makes the dough nice and crispy so I highly, highly recommend one!
Slow Roasted Tomato Recipe
2 lbs or more of your favorite medium sized tomato
high quality olive oil
sea salt
a dash of sugar
Chili flakes or any other desired seasoning (not too many, though- you want the tomato flavor to be central!)
Preheat oven to 200F
Slice your tomatoes and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, ground pepper, and a teeny amount of sugar.

Space the tomatoes out evenly on a dark baking pan (or whatever you have). Bake for an hour and a half and then raise temperature to 225f or 250f, and bake for at least another 45 minutes. Your tomatoes should have shrunk somewhat but still be slightly moist. Remember, you’re not making sundried tomatoes, but intensifying and condensing the flavor.

Yummy yummy! Great for using in all kinds of recipes!
Dairy-free, Nut-free Vegan Sundried Tomato Pesto Recipe
8 or more high quality sundried tomatoes (fresh packed)
4 slow roasted tomatoes
1-2 slow roasted garlic cloves
1/8 cup high quality olive oil
freshly ground salt
freshly ground pepper
Soak your sundried tomatoes in hot water for 30 minute or so and then drain.

Combine all ingredients in your food processor. Blend and taste. Adjust seasonings, add more olive oil if desired.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can use it for pasta too! Here the pesto is pictured with some Glutino corn pasta with grilled veggies and a touch of marinara. Enjoy!
Dairy Free Basil Pesto Recipe for Pizza or Pasta
2 cups basil leaves, destemmed, and packed tightly
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (*Edited to have more nuts)
1/6 cup rice wine or cider vinegar
1/8 cup water
1/6 cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
2 cloves roasted garlic (bake with other dishes in the oven or use raw if you like)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Your favorite gluten-free pizza recipe (from mix, scratch (carol fenster) or pre-made)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender through the garlic, and pulse until ingredients are combined and chopped. Add olive oil in a steady stream with the machine on until you form a nice pesto paste. Scrape out pesto into a bowl and reserve.

Reserve one or two tablespoons of pesto for other recipes like my buckwheat grit pesto fries! You can use it for pizza:

Prepare your gluten-free pizza according to recipe and top with pesto. Add any other ingredients you like (olives? artichoke hearts? portabella mushroom slices?) and bake according to instructions. (Usually 10-15 minutes). Slice and enjoy!

Or for pasta:
Combine with gluten-free pasta, grilled veggies and plenty of pesto. Yum!

Gluten-Free Grilled Vegetable Pizza Recipe *Dairy Optional*
1/2 recipe dairy-free, nut free sundried tomato pesto (recipe in files)
Enough slow roasted tomato slices to cover your pizza (recipe in files)
High Quality Organic marinara sauce

1 whole portobello mushroom
1/2 red pepper
Several creamy white potatoes
1 zucchini, sliced horizontally
1/2 red onion, sliced
olive oil
Pasta seasoning blend, salt, pepper to taste

1 recipe Carol Fenster brown rice pizza crust (can be made with rice milk for dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free)

*OPTIONAL* equal amounts of grated romano and mozarella cheese

Assemble pesto, slow roasted tomato slices, and marinara sauce and reserve.

Season some olive oil with your pasta seasoning mix (or italian seasoning mix) as well as salt and pepper, and baste your whole mushroom and red pepper, zucchini, red onion, and potatoes. (Actually, I threw the potatoes in with the tomatoes while I was roasting them and then grilled them after they were mostly baked.) Grill your vegetables and then reserve them for the pizza.

Bake pizza crust for ten minutes and then top with pesto, slow-roasted tomato slices. Fill in the holes with marinara sauce. Top with grilled veggies and cheese, if you like, but this pizza was designed to be delicious without cheese. Bake for another ten or fifteen minutes on a pizza stone and enjoy!

Additional Pictures

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7 Responses to “Spring Mediterranean Gluten Free Potluck: Allergy Free Vegetarian Pizza Recipe”

  1. Betsy Ray Says:

    WOW!!! The DF pizza looks amazing! My kids and I are GF and DF. I am going to have to try to replicate it this weekend!

    Your blog always gives me great ideas for dinner. Now if I could only get my husband to go completely GF. He has a rash on his hands that I swear is DH and a recent celiac panel came back in the questionable range. Hopefully if I can cook more like you, he will be inspired to rid his life of gluten.


  2. Oh my… you’ve fulfilled my wishes for dinner….. please tell your honey that he may just have to start sharing you more… I’m moving in! :) These look fabulous, Sea. :)

  3. [...] dough does work very nicely for a thin crust pizza, but if you prefer a thicker and lighter crust, Carol Fenster’s recipe specifically for gluten-free bakers is still my favorite. You may not be able to shape the dough in [...]

  4. [...] 6 pizzas that you can enjoy over a week’s time. And, here’s my personal favorite crust- Carol Fenster’s classic gluten-free Pizza recipe with allergen-free pizza topping [...]

  5. Thanks for interesting article

  6. [...] pizza, and basil infused oil for the Japanese-inspired pizza. However, you could easily use a Gluten-Free vegan crust like this one and it would be wonderful. The thai style topping is already naturally vegan, but if [...]

  7. [...] Allergy-free Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe [...]

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