It happens. You think you’re doing great, happily enjoying your new gluten-free life. You feel better. You might even look better. You start even saying things like “I don’t even miss pizza.” And then it happens. You see someone walking past you on the street, or walking into work from lunch, holding a big, fat, cheesy slice of pizza. And just like that, you start to feel alone, left out, dejected.
Don’t worry, though, because when that moment comes, you can go online, look up this savory gluten free pizza recipe, and make it. Right away (it’s really simple to make, I promise).
Sure, this pizza is a little different than the ones we were all used to once upon a time. But that doesn’t make it any less delicious. First of all, the crust is basically a socca. If you’ve had socca before, you know how delicious it can be. I’ve been really obsessed with this socca-as-pizza idea lately. Last time I attempted it, though, I went with a buckwheat flour batter and more traditional pizza toppings. It was good. It hit the spot. But after making this tonight, I can tell you one thing. There’s a reason the French use chickpea (garbanzo) flour to make socca. There’s also a reason that French cuisine (even of the non-Parisian variety) is emulated around the world. They simply know what they’re doing.
This “socca pizza” is crisp on the edges, ever-so-slightly chewy in the middle, and perfectly savory on top. I used Follow Your Heart vegan mozarella and a little sprinkling of nutritional yeast for some nuttiness to top it all off. It’s the perfect treat to ward off those gluten-free (or perhaps vegan) blues and to remind you that you don’t have to choose between feeling better and eating well (or alternately, eating well and helping the planet).
A few notes: You will need a cast-iron (or otherwise oven-proof) skillet for this recipe. The “dough” is not really going to look like dough. It’s more of a batter, like a crepe batter. You can feel free to experiment with different toppings, but I would stay away from “wet” toppings or sauces unless you cook the crust for longer from the start, or else you might end up with a soggier middle.
Yield: 1 9″ cast-iron skillet-sized pizza
Socca (crust) batter:
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
~ 4 ounces (a little less than half a block) Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella cheese, grated with a microplane grater
1. Preheat oven to 450. Place a well-oiled 9″ cast-iron skillet in the oven while it preheats.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients for socca batter until frothy (about 2 minutes). When skillet is hot, pour in batter and place back in preheated oven. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until edges are browned and middle is firm to the touch.
3. While crust bakes, make topping by heating a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and onions and stir to coat with oil. Saute onions until dark brown, about 7 minutes. Add shitakes and cook for another 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and transluscent.
4. When crust is cooked, spread onion and mushroom mixture over top and sprinkle with nutritional yeast (optional) and “cheese.” Bake until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.