You might never eat a conventional wheat-based pizza again after you try this gluten-free version! Belinda Connolly shares another treat from her Deliciously Conscious Cookbook with a vegetable quinoa pizza! The bases crisp up fantastically and can be used for both savoury and sweet pizzas.
Ingredients (Makes two 25cm/10in pizzas)
Prep 20 minutes, at least eight hours’ soaking, bake 40 minutes
One tbsp olive oil
400g Quinoa, soaked for eight hours in cold water
One tsp sea salt
One tbsp chopped fresh basil, marjoram or oregano, or 1. tsp dried or 1 tsp chopped rosemary
Two garlic cloves, smashed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sliced mozzarella cheese, ricotta or soft goat’s cheese, for topping
Olive oil or truffle oil, or a mixture, for drizzling
For the Tomato Pizza Sauce:
Two tbsp olive oil
450g Onions, chopped
Three garlic cloves, smashed
Three thyme sprigs
Two bay leaves, scrunched
Two tbsp chopped basil leaves
500ml Cups tomato passata (tomato puree)
One tbsp balsamic vinegar
One tbsp tamari
One tbsp tomato puree (tomato paste)
One tsp sugar, pomegranate molasses or unsweetened apple juice concentrate
One tsp vegetable bouillon powder
For the optional toppings:
Artichoke hearts, fresh or bottled, chargrilled and sliced
Aubergine slices, greased, chargrilled and seasoned
Courgette strips, greased, char-grilled and seasoned
Mushrooms, wiped, trimmed and sliced
Red onions, sliced
Mixed (bell) peppers, de-seeded and sliced
Wild rocket (arugula)
– To begin the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and sweat until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and fry for two more minutes.
– Add the thyme, bay leaves, basil, passata (tomato puree) and remaining ingredients with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to the boil.
– Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, with the lid slightly ajar. You should have a fragrant, thick sauce. Adjust the seasoning and set aside.
– Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 7.
– Brush two 25cm/10in loose-bottomed cake tins or cast-iron oven proof frying pans with the oil, remembering to coat the sides as well. Place the cake tins or frying pans in the oven for 10 minutes.
– Rinse the quinoa in a metal sieve, rubbing to remove the bitter outer coating.
– Transfer it to a food processor with the salt, herbs and garlic and purée, adding the water via the feed tube until you get a thick batter. Season to taste.
– Remove the hot tins or frying pans from the oven and pour in the batter, smoothing the surface with a metal spatula. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
– Remove the bases from the tins and transfer to a baking (cookie) sheet lined with a silicone mat. Spread with the sauce and toppings of your choice, then lightly drizzle with oil.
– Sprinkle the pizzas with the cheese and return them to the oven for 10–12 minutes until crusty and golden.
Dairy-free option: Replace the dairy cheese with vegan herbed cream cheese or vegan Parmesan-style cheese.
Vegan option: Use the dairy-free option. Do not use the truffle oil.
Sweet Quinoa Pizza: Add 1 tsp Madagascan vanilla extract and 2 tbsp maple syrup to the batter in step 6. Use melted raw coconut oil instead of olive oil or sunflower oil when brushing the cake tins or frying pans. After baking, remove from the oven and leave the bases to cool, then remove from the tins. Transfer to a baking (cookie) sheet lined with a silicone mat. Spread with a sweetened avocado and lime juice puree and top with pineapple or papaya chunks tossed with fresh lime juice, or use soft fruit slices. Sprinkle with icing (confectioners’) sugar or drizzle with sweet syrup, then place under a hot grill (broiler) until brown speckles appear. Serve with soya (soy) yogurt, or, for a non-vegan version, Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, sorbet or ice cream.
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