The Vegetables You Love to Hide: Zucchini Crust Pizza Flatbread

zucchinipizasquare.jpg I’m pretty sure we all have vegetables we love to hide. You know what I’m talking about. The vegetables that you’d just as soon not eat. The vegetable you had so many negative encounters with that just the memory of it makes you shudder. You can remember the yucky texture, the yucky flavor, the overwhelmingly yucky essence of it. And, now that you’re a grown up, you think you’re out of the danger zone and just maybe never have to eat that vegetable ever again, if you play your cards right. But a little part of you says- but… isn’t that vegetable good for me? Isn’t it gluten free and full of vitamins and minerals- so, shouldn’t I try to make it palatable somehow? My vegetable that I love to hate and love to hide is the zucchini. I remember it as the mushy squash tainting sautes and curries, the bland illegitimate child of the sweet pumpkin and bland cucumber- the squash that squishes in your teeth and has that underlying bitterness under its watery sweetness. Yes, I have had my fair share of traumatic zucchini experiences, to the point that I generally beg servers to just “leave it out! leave it out” of green thai curries or (if they will permit it) vegetable fajita stir fries.But, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the farmer’s market is quite beguiling, and when I see the latest in season vegetable piled up so beautifully on the farmers’ tables, sometimes I just can’t resist them. Even when, in my secret hearts of hearts, I have serious doubts about their yum factor. I was astonished to find myself enjoying zucchini recently, along with the equally skeptical DH, in a delicious recipe for a grilled zucchini salad. This gave me hope- maybe zucchini could actually be a yum, prepared in the right way. As I was flipping through my Moosewood Cafe cookbook, I came across an intriguing recipe using zucchini as the base for a pizza crust. It combined cheese, zucchini, eggs, and just a little bit of flour, which meant to me that gluten probably played a minor role in the recipe and the flour could easily be exchanged with a gluten free flour. Also, the protein of the cheese and eggs combined would make the low protein content of the flour I chose inconsequential. So, I boldly went ahead with yet another sneaky wife attempt to get the DH to eat zucchini. Ok, I was also trying to trick myself into it, zucchinipizzapockets.jpgbut it’s more fun if the DH is involved in these little experiments. I made up my crust, baked it up and tried a little sliver before topping it. It was very, very good! Actually, it would have been good just like that as a cheesy “flatbread/quiche” type thing, but I wanted to really go all out, so I topped it with marinara sauce ,veggies, and cheese and baked it until it was almost unrecognizable as a zucchini dish. My face gave it away to DH, though, who right before he bit in, said “OK! What are you trying to hide in this dish???” He knows me too well. And, actually, he did guess that it was made from zucchini. But, that didn’t stop him from gobbling up the pizza and complaining when I tried to take part of his pizza. Apparently cheese will hide a multitude of sins, and this recipe turned zucchini from a yuck to a resounding yum, not unlike the magic of zucchini bread that transforms it into a moist, delicious, sweet bread ingredient. So, the next time you have a surplus of zucchini in your fridge that you would rather hide than eat, how about instead of making yet another sweet zucchini bread, trying it in a savory, delicious pizza crust or flatbread?

zucchinipizunb.jpg*Question of the week:
What Vegetable do you love to hide, and what dish do you hide it in? Recipes welcome…

(Please post as a comment for this blog entry- and save me from the spam monsters- I get so depressed reading and deleting posts about new cars, viagra, and medicines for ailments I’ve never heard of… I’d MUCH rather hear from my readers!!!)

Zucchini-Crust Pizza
Ingredients
olive oil and superfine brown rice flour to coat pan
2 cups packed grated zucchini (about 3 small zucchini)
2 egg whites (+1 egg yolk, optional)
1/4 cup +1 tbsp superfine brown rice flour or Bette Hagman Gluten free gourmet blend (I used the former, this time)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan
pinch of basil, marjoram, rosemary
Healthy sprinkling of pasta seasoning blend(I use trader joe’s)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato or basil pesto (optional!!!)

Topping ideas:
Thinly sliced tomato or marinara sauce (if will be eating immediately)
extra grated cheese
diced onion
thinly sliced garlic
sauteed mushrooms
diced green peppers
sliced olives

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and oil or spray pan of your choice and sprinkle with flour. If you want a thinner crust, use a pizza pan with slightly raised edges. If you want a thicker crust, it’s ok to use a jelly roll man or pie pan. A nonstick pan might be a good idea!

Mix together zucchini, eggs, flour, cheeses, herbs, seasoning, and 1 tbsp olive oil thoroughly. Bake until golden brown. (Cooking time will depend on thickness of crust, but around 35-40 minutes.) Halfway through baking you can brush with a little olive oil OR with pesto and place back in oven. Remove from oven when done, let rest and cool for 10 minutes and then carefully loosen from pan with your favorite spatula. *note: if you used a pan with tall sides this may be a challenge. Go slowly and use the right tool for the job! You can also cut the pizza into large “slices” if that will make it easier to get out of the pan. You should be able to completely remove pizza from pan at this point. (But leave it in the pan!) Top with whatever you like on your pizza and bake at 400 degrees f (or 350) until cheese is melted and golden brown but crust doesn’t burn.

Notes
Enjoy!

Also good with no toppings or as a white pizza, as a kind of flatbread/ focaccio.

PS Don’t use a pan like the one I used- it was a real pain getting it out of the pan.

Additional Pictures

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26 Responses to “The Vegetables You Love to Hide: Zucchini Crust Pizza Flatbread”

  1. I’m going to try this – sounds wonderful!

    I love all veggies – except eggplant. How do I hide it? I leave it at the grocery store. Since you don’t hear “eggplant is so-o-o good for you”, I’m okay with that for now! LOL

  2. Hi Jeanne! Hahah- love your comment. I feel the same way about celery. DH shares your sentiments about eggplant, although I have actually managed to win him over to that purple hued monster with a few of my recipes. ;)
    -Sea

  3. This looks great Brenda!! I have some zucchini in my fridge so will have to try it. By the way, I don’t care for eggplant either, it always seems so slimy!!

  4. This looks amazing. I’ve been craving pizza lately and store-bought GF crusts just aren’t that good. As such, I can’t wait to try this! I love zucchini (though I echo the sentiments in eggplant–blech) and have plenty of brown rice flour in my cabinet, so I’ll be giving this a go soon.

    I just wish there were some way to do this without cheese . . . any ideas?

  5. my latest obsession? Hiding CHICKPEAS. hehe. The Carnivore hates them, or so he says…but I’ve been finding ways to sneak em in… yum ways.

    Here’s the latest recipe and pic: http://accidentalvegetarian.blogspot.com/2007/06/chickpea-zuchinni-blossom-fritters-with.html

    Lots of love,
    Naomi

  6. That recipe looks AMAZING, Naomi. I stumbled across it earlier, and can’t wait to get some zucchini blossoms. :) Thank you for sharing!
    -Sea

  7. [...] Danielle from the Gluten Free Artist stunned us in May with a gorgeous Gluten Free Tiramisu Recipe Naomi of The Accidental Vegetarian inspired with her recipes for Fabulous Fresh Herb Pizza Cilantro Lime Chili with Brown Rice Cheddar Crust Cornish Pasties (using her own flour blend) Chickpea Zucchini Blossom Fritters with Manchego Cheese By the Bay of Gluten Free By the Bay shared her Gluten Free Cheesy Baked Ziti Recipe Karina from Gluten Free Goddess brought you Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin Ellen from I am Gluten Free Introduced: Gluten Free Multigrain Miracle Bread Raw Mediterranean Kale Salad Diane from A Gluten Free Journey shared her Raspberry and Almond Meringue Recipe Melanie at Kill.the.gluten shared her Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Natalie at Gluten Free Mommy brought us the drool worthy Lighter than Air Chocolate Cake Slacker Mom at Mrs. GF- Recipes for a Gluten Free Life baked up a Quick and Easy Banana Quinoa Muffin Recipe Rachel at Wheat-Free Meat-Free wowed us all with a tasty Gluten Free Fig Newton Recipe Sheltie Girl at Gluten a Go Go innovated with a Gluten Free Blue Corn Scone Recipe Catherine in Manhattan at Gluten Free Guide shared her Quinoa Salad with black beans and jicama Recipe Here at The Book of Yum we had Gluten Free Zucchini Pizza Recipe An Ambrosial Indian Green Bean Recipe A Gluten Free Skillet Corn Cake Recipe [...]

  8. I will definitely try this recipe. Haven’t had any pizza since going gluten free two years ago. However, what is pasta seasoning blend (I don’t have ready access to a Trader Joe’s in my area)? Is there a substitute for it? Thanks for posting this delicious recipe!

  9. Hi Frieda! There are tons of great GF pizza crust recipes, so no need to go without. :) I make a brown rice pizza crust by Carol Fenster that I really like, but there are many options. This is a fun, unusual pizza though.

    I think several companies offer a pasta seasoning blend- the Spice Hunter has a good one. You can find it mostly in health food stores or slightly yuppie markets. Spice Hunter’s version has onion, garlic, basil, lemon peel, paprika, fennel, oregano, black pepper, ginger, thyme and lemon oil. It’s heartier than a typical herb based italian seasoning, and adds a lot of flavor. But, you can use any italian style seasoning blend that you like- it just adds additional flavor to the crust.

    -Sea

  10. This is such an awesome recipe, Brenda!! I think I like it better than a regular pizza. Thanks for sharing!!

    Donna S.

  11. [...] And if you’re in the mood for this recipe, you might like my original Eggplant Parmesan Recipe or my Zucchini Flatbread Pizza Recipe [...]

  12. [...] If you’re in the mood for gluten free Italian recipes, you might enjoy my Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan Recipe or Zucchini Crust Pizza Flatbread Recipe [...]

  13. [...] this recipe? You might also like my other low-carb vegetable recipes: Zucchini based pizza crust or Eggplant Parmesan Recipe sans crumbs Zucchini Parmesan Recipe sans [...]

  14. [...] around the internet and came across a recipe on the gluten-free vegetarian blog Book of Yum for Zucchini-crust Pizza. I’ve been getting a steady supply of zucchini in my box all summer, not enough to qualify as [...]

  15. [...] Crust from the Moosewood Cookbook. I’ve posted a link to an online version of the recipe here–if you find yourself with extra zucchini, give it a try! It’s pretty quick and [...]

  16. hi
    i like to know is this vegetabal is good for reduce cholesterol.and if you any vegetable for reduce cholestrol
    let me know .
    thankx

  17. [...] Zucchini Crust Pizza Recipe [...]

  18. We made this pizza tonight and it was yummy, thank you. It reminded me of my favourite pizza from pre-coeliac days with caramalised onions, brie and courgette ribbons. I forgot to separate the eggs – did you omit the egg yolk to reduce cholesterol?

  19. LOVE this. Made this last week – making again today. Delicious comfort food. I salted the grated zuchinni (rinsed & pressed all the moisture out). Then I packed the zuchinni & added a little more than the recipe called for (you will need to grate more zuchinni to end up with 2 packed cups). This produced a very firm crust that stood up well to my layered toppings. I triple the recipe and put it in a jelly-roll pan, then freeze large squares and take them to work. Doubt that I will ever be without ZC Pizza EVER in my life from this day forward.

  20. This has been kid tested and whole Family Approved*! It is delicious. Keep the crust about an inch thick and this recipe works great! Hawaiian toppings were a big hit (ham pineapple, mushrooms, black olives and mozzerella) and the sausage black olive mushroom with ragu pizza sauce (Also, gluten and yeast free!) Super filling. Much moreso than regular pizza. God Bless whoever published this recipe. It is superb.

  21. I tried a bread like this without cheese using cauliflower and it didn’t work first time round.

    Going to try again today with a zuchnni cauliflower mix and no cheese or flour….. If I can get it to bake flat and not fall apart it should be adeuate.

  22. I really don’t think it will work, as it needs the cheese to act as a binder. If you are vegan or dairy sensitive, try Daiya cheese made from tapioca starch. That may melt and hold it together well enough to work.

    -Sea

  23. It sort of made a cauliflower and zuchinni pancake that I then topped like a cheeseless pizza, burned a little but worked ok and tasted nice.

    I’m following the Four Hour Body low carb diet so no cheese for me sadly.

  24. really need something to eat!! on south beach for life, so I have given up sugar and simple enriched carbs…I wanted a veggie pizza crust !! looks awesome!!
    I am open to gluten free and good food! it does taste better…never again fast food and junk!I am going to make a mushroom crust also!!want your book!! thanks!!

  25. I didn’t have any zuchinni on hand, but did have a huge pizza urge to satisfy. Using vegtable fiber from my juicer (can’t say what all was in it, just fresh veggie fiber)and following the recipe turned out a delicious low carb crust that I will use many times in the future!

  26. lpenny bontkowski Says:

    I’am on weight watchers, what are the colories, carbs , protein fiber, and fat so i can calulate.

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