Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gluten Free Pizza with Greens and Sausage

It feels good to post a recipe again! I've been taking a hiatus from blogging as of late, and just enjoying my time with my boys and the beautiful October weather we have been having here in Minneapolis. For anyone who lives in Minnesota, most agree that October is the favorite month out of the whole year. It's just blissfully beautiful with every turn of the leaves. The air is dry, the sun (usually) shines, the temps are crisp but not cold, and the apples and pumpkins abound. (Oops, sorry honey, I forgot to mention football!!! Silly me! What would the world be like without the amazing Oklahoma Sooners to route for on Saturday afternoons!)

I noted a while ago that I would be posting my gluten free pizza crust version, and it's just taken this long to get it perfected. I use a combination of GF flours: millet, quinoa, and sweet brown rice. I like the depth of flavor I get from a crust using this combo, but feel free to swap other GF flours of choice here, say a long-grain brown rice, white rice, sorghum, etc. I'm not so positive a nut flour would give the same result, but that is my next experimentation, so stay tuned.

I also need to add that this crust can be a bit crumbly. The xanthan gum sure helps to hold it together, but if that stuff creeps you out, like it does Kim of Affairs of Living (check out her hilarious post about her pumpkin seed teff bread here), then feel free to leave it out. I make it both ways. If you leave it out, just be warned that you will have to be a bit more careful when it comes to rolling the crust out.

And this pizza recipe wouldn't be complete with some greens. I have to talk about it, because it is such a central part of this pizza (I mean just look at the gorgeous color it adds for heaven's sake). I am a lover of all dark leafy greens and eat it just about every day. And I am thrilled to learn that I am kindred to Alicia Silverstone in this regard. I just checked out her book The Kind Diet from the library last week and learned that she eats greens at nearly every meal... oh, that's my aspiration, Alicia! Now there is a lot that I don't agree with in Alicia's food philosophy (I am, for the record, not a vegan by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I ever aspire to be one), however, she makes some really good points that we do agree on, the most important: eat lots of veggies.

So with this pizza recipe, you can have your pizza and eat (your veggies) too.

Gluten Free Pizza with Greens and Sausage

1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup quinoa flour
1/3 cup sweet brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)

3 tablespoons pesto
2 tablspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 bunches collards or other greens
1/2 yellow onion
1-2 precooked chicken sausages (I use Amy's), any flavor
1/3 cup crumbled feta

For the crust:

If you are starting with whole grains as opposed to the flours, use 1/4- 1/3 cups of each grain and process into a flour using a flour mill or Vitamix dry blade (if using Vitamix like I did, let the grains process for about 1 minute to ensure the right consistency).

Put warm water in a small bowl. Add the yeast and allow to set for about 5 minutes (the yeast will get foamy when ready to use).

Add flours to a mixing bowl. Add yeast/water mixture and remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and form into a ball (add more water as necessary if dough is too crumbly). Drizzle olive oil at the bottom of the mixing bowl and add dough ball, swirling the dough ball around in the oil to coat.

Let the dough rest about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 and, if using a pizza stone, place it in the oven at this time. Chop or chiffande collards or greens into tiny strips. Chop onion and slice sausages into bite size pieces.

Back to the crust... after dough has rested, lightly flour a silicone mat (or parchment paper) and rolling pin with gluten free flour. Place dough in the middle of the mat. Roll dough out to a 10 inch circle (or if you prefer, a similar size rectangle).

Pull the pizza stone out of the oven and lightly sprinkle gluten free flour on top to prevent the crust from sticking to it. (If using a baking sheet, also sprinkle with flour for same purpose). Take the dough and carefully flip it over onto the pizza stone or baking sheet. Peel off the silicone mat or parchment paper. Take a fork and poke a few holes in the crust to let the air escape and prevent it from bubbling.

The crust is done... whew!!! (It's really easy once you get the hang of it, trust me!)

Add the pesto and olive oil to the crust and spread evenly across top of crust. Add collards, onion, sausage and top with feta.

Bake for 17 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing with pizza cutter.

Enjoy with your favorite movie and snuggle partner (thanks, hubby, for sharing the pizza-movie-night  tradition with me!)

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