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Takeaway Alternative: Zucchini Crust Pizza

Wednesday, September 2013

Next time pesky pizza cravings hit, why not try this takeaway alternative? Nutrient dense, the zucchini base is so full of flavour already that it's perfectly complemented by the fresh and simple flavours of the tomato, mozarrella and basil leaf topping. Watch your portion sizes though - packed full of vitamins it may be, a small serve of this pizza will do just fine for fat content.

For the crust

  • 4 cups grated then chopped fresh zucchini (one large zucchini about a foot long, or several smaller ones)
  • ½ cup finely grated low-fat mozzarella blend
  • 5 tablespoons almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the sauce and toppings

  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced and pulled apart into chunks
  • 10-15 large basil leaves

Method

  1. Preheat the grill or oven to 230 degrees.
  2. Grate zucchini, using a food processor or the large side of a hand grater, then chop the grated zucchini by hand or in a food processor.
  3. Place the chopped zucchini in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for about 5 minutes. Drain cooked zucchini into a colander lined with cheesecloth or a tea towel. Allow zucchini to drain until it's cool enough to handle.
  4. While zucchini cools, make the tomato sauce. Drain the tomatoes into a colander placed in the sink. While the tomatoes drain, chop the garlic, heat half the olive oil in a very small frying pan, and sauté garlic just until it's fragrant.
  5. Add the drained tomatoes and Italian seasoning and let the sauce simmer on very low heat until the crust is done. (Just before using the sauce, stir in the rest of the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.)
  6. When zucchini is cool, squeeze out as much water as you can through the tea towel then place the zucchini in a bowl. Add finely grated mozzarella, almond meal, parmesan, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and beaten egg and stir until ingredients are combined.
  7. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or nonstick spray and divide the crust mixture into two balls.
  8. Use your fingers to press out the crust mixture into two circles, being careful not to make the edges too thin so they don’t burn.
  9. Bake crust on a pizza stone in the pre-heated oven just until the crust is firm and starting to brown – this will be 10-15 minutes. (You can also bake this in the oven without a pizza stone, but it will take a little longer to cook.)
  10. Spread each small pizza with half the sauce, then top with half the basil leaves and half the fresh Mozzarella chunks.
  11. Put pizzas back into the oven on the pizza stone and cook just until the cheese is nicely melted (3-5 minutes). Serve hot.

Makes 2-4 servings.


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Takeaway Alternative: Zucchini Crust Pizza