The Best Gluten Free Veggie Pizza Recipe EVER

yumpizza2.jpgI recently organized my kitchen cupboards and came across some Chebe Pizza Mix that I had ordered in a sampler pack from Chebe. Pizza sounded awfully good, but somehow I didn’t want any old regular pizza. I wanted something… different. As you know, lately I’ve been grilling everything that grows in dirt (zucchini, fennel, onions, you name it, I’ve grilled it), and somehow this came together in my mind with my veggie pizza experience at the Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe. zairyou.jpgThat pizza was piled high with vegetables that I never would have expected on a pizza. I decided to create my own gluten free pizza recipe with a unique combination of grilled and roasted vegatables. Initially I planned to make a vegan topping of roasted eggplant and mayonnaise, and went so far as to blend it up in my food processor. Unfortunately, when I tasted it, I decided that the flat flavor of vegannaise mayonnaise just wasn’t going to work on its own, and I didn’t have enough basil to whip up some vegan pesto. So, I pitched it and dipped into the refrigerator to use up some leftover cheese. I decided to mix lowfat mixed cheese blend and smoked fontina in order to create maximum flavor while still keeping the dish as healthy as possible. I prepared my veggies on the grill. Keep in mind we live on the second story of an apartment and I usually cook late in the evening. It’s almost always dark by the time I’m at the grill, but a teal blue Chinese lantern illuminates the grill, and I rather like the idea that I’m grilling by moonlight. Our neighbors must think we’re really weird though, for grilling (quietly) so late at night. Anyway, although this was the first time I had used the official Chebe pizza crust mix, pizzared.jpg I was happily very impressed with the results. The pizza was easy to roll out, as are all their products, and it puffed up a lot in the oven. (Although it later deflated.) I did need to transfer the pizza to a pizza stone halfway through the cooking process, as otherwise the crust would have gotten somewhat soggy by the time it was served. I also made sure to put it on a cooling rack after it was baked in order to retain maximum crispness. And the verdict? Both DH and I were thrilled with our pizza. broccoli.jpg I think he was secretly doing a happy dance that I had used real cheese for once, and we were both surprised and impressed with the smokiness added by the fontina cheese. Somehow the combination of ingredients harmonized to create a really pleasing, delicious dish. For those of you who can’t have dairy, don’t despair. I do think that my eggplant/mayo pizza topping could work, especially if you use a homemade mayonnaise or egg mayonnaise. Pesto will also up the yum factor. If you don’t want to try the mayonnaise topping, you could also try the pine nut “ricotta” I used for lasagna. (Tastes great raw OR baked!) Adding smoked tofu or tofu pups would add a smoky note that could really take this recipe to another level, vegan or no. But regardless of the cheese- definitely try some grilled veggies on your pizza. It might not be “traditional” but it tastes absolutely divine, and made me think that this pizza was the best I’d ever had. And, as a happy bonus, you can serve the leftover grilled veggies as a side to the pizza!

So pull up your chair, and have a slice of pizza. Which version would you like? What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Best Ever Gluten Free Veggie Pizza Recipe
1 GF Pizza Crust (premade, made from a mix such as Chebe, or homemade from a Bette Hagman or Carol Fenster Recipe)

1 stalk of broccoli
1 red pepper
1 large red onion
1 Portobello Mushroom
Kalamata Olives

Leftover Roasted Zucchini, Squash, and Japanese Eggplant Slices (see following Recipe)

Olive Oil
Seasoning Mix (anything you like- you can use the mixture I used for my sesame oil grilled recipe or any other savory mixture)

Marinara Sauce (Safeway Organic is really good)
Shredded Cheese mixture- quantity to your taste, but whatever the total, use 3/4 lowfat 3 cheese combo and 1/4 smoked cheese, fontina or gouda

Prepare pizza Crust according to directions. While it is baking, prepare vegetables.

Take stalk of broccoli and wash it, then spinning it dry in a salad spinner. Carefully slice broccoli horizontally so that several florets and stalks are still joined together but it has two relatively flat sides to grill. This makes it easy to grill without florets falling through the grill. Reserve.

Slice red onion into thick strips or rings.

Wash and dry portobello mushroom and red pepper.

Roast red pepper on the grill so skin chars and turns black. Place in thick freezer safe plastic bag, seal, and let sit for ten minutes before taking the red pepper out of the bag, removing the skin and slicing it.

Rub a small amount of olive oil and seasonings onto the broccoli slabs and red onion, mixing them and placing them on the grill next to each other so that the broccoli will be seasoned as the onion caramelizes. Let grill until broccoli is still slightly crunchy but begins to char slightly on the outer part of the floret. (To taste). Turn once. Let the onions grill until soft and slightly charred on edges, turning once or as many times as you need to achieve ideal texture. Remove from grill, reserve.

Rub the same kind of olive oil and seasoning into the portobello mushroom and grill it until soft. Turn once, until softened and cooked through. Remove from grill, and slice. Reserve.

When all vegetables are done put marinara sauce on the bottom, topped with cheese and bake for at least half of the time your recipe requires (10-15 minutes?) on any baking surface. Make sure you will be able to move the pizza crust easily. After this time has elapsed, transfer the pizza crust to a (heated) pizza stone and top with marinara sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. If you want you can put the pizza back in the oven without the broccoli and zucchini, let the cheese melt, and then add these more delicate toppings for the last few minutes of baking.

I made two toppings- one had portobello mushroom slices, kalamata olives, and roasted red peppers. The other side had red onion, broccoli, and zucchini.

This is the best pizza I have ever had. DH loved the mushroom/olive side, but my favorite was the broccoli. REALLY yummy. The marinara sauce and smoked cheese MAKES this dish, along with the grilled veggies.
Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Squash Salad Recipe
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 Japanese or Chinese eggplant (the long skinny kind NOT wide American kind)
1 medium red onion

olive oil
seasoning mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Clean and dry your zucchini, squash, and eggplant. Use your food processor to slice them into thin discs- (mandoline thin). Place them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little olive oil and seasonings, rubbing seasoning into the vegetable slices. Make sure it is evenly distributed and don’t use very much oil. Place in oven and bake, checking every 5 minutes and turning if needed. Because these are thin discs, they will burn easily if left too long. Depending on your own taste, you will want them less or more well done. Sometimes my taste tends towards the charred, because it makes them crunchy, but there is a fine line between tasty crunchy and little black charcoal chips. Yum yum. Sprinkle with salt as you remove each batch from the oven, but don’t overdo.

For the onion, slice into rounds and lightly baste with oil, grilling on a med-low propane setting if you’re using propane. When they’re soft and slightly caramelized, remove and cut into bite sized pieces.

Lightly fold all ingredients together and add any last minute seasonings before servings.

Recipe can be doubled. You can enjoy on its own as a side, add it as a unique pizza topping or fold it up into a corn tortilla. This is a great way to use up any leftover veggie slices from a Ratattouille experiment…


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2 Responses to “The Best Gluten Free Veggie Pizza Recipe EVER”

  1. [...] GF Quesadillas / GF Pizza / Cashew Cream Fruit Salad [...]

  2. [...] You will note that homemade gluten free crackers rate a 6 on the scale, two points above my point of resistance. Pie crust is generally a 4. Well, luckily, I find Chebe dough so easy to work with that when I make recipes using it, I have to knock things down a point or so on the scale. I will cheerfully roll out dough for perogies/ knishes out of Chebe like nobody’s business, because it’s extremely supple and forgiving dough that is practically fun to work with. It’s even a weekday dish, rather than just a weekend, because I find it so easy to work with. But you won’t find me making pie out of normal pie crust on the weekday, no sir. It’s just too much hassle! Given this, yesterday when I felt the urge to bake, I found myself doing one of the more unlikely baking projects- making Chebe goldfish crackers! I make crackers extremely rarely, but they are worth the effort when I finally do it. My favorites are Rebecca Reilly’s gluten free graham crackers and Bette Hagman’s various crackers, but don’t ask me the last time I made them. Anyway, I kept hearing people say they made crackers out of chebe, and I was finally so curious I had to try it for myself. I took a recipe from Chebe’s recipe page and adapted it slightly, adding garlic powder for additional flavor, and dusting the baking tin with cornmeal for additional crunch and to make it easier to remove the crackers from the pan. They were surprisingly easy to make, and my fish cookie cutter worked very well, although it created more of a “whale” sized cracker rather than a little fish sized cracker. (I can’t imagine making hundreds of little fish crackers, I think I’d go buggy!) I only made up half of the recipe, and the other half of the dough is reserved in my refrigerator (I have an idea about tart cups, hmmm…), but I had a very nice little stack of crackers when I was done. The crackers themselves were very tasty, with the characteristic tapioca chebe flavor and good crunch and flavor. Happily, they are still good the next day, and don’t need to be reheated in the oven (unlike chebe pizza or knishes). So, if you’re feeling slightly ambitious in the kitchen and want some cheesy gluten free crackers with more personality than little bland circles, why not make your own fish or whale shaped crackers? Or, how about seasonal crackers- I think pumpkin, bats, goblins and ghost crackers would be pretty darned cute, myself. [...]

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