Wheatless Wednesday: Chalk it up to Cheese Alchemy — Garden-Fresh Pizza without Dairy or Soy Cheese
This twist on classic pizza ushers in summer with a tender gluten-free crust, garlicky oven-roasted tomato sauce and the zing of fresh herbs. You could top this with homemade mozzarella cheese or soy cheese, but what if you’re avoiding both dairy and the highly-processed soy isolates found in many cheese alternatives? Is it even possible to imagine — much less create and enjoy — a pizza without wheat and cheese?
Surprisingly, it’s not only possible, it’s mouthwatering. I recently wrapped up some leftover pizza in foil and enjoyed it on a picnic with my husband — and the slices were just as delicious chilled.
Wheat-free Pizza Crust
Free of wheat, gluten, corn, soy, dairy, and yeast.
In a stand-alone mixer such as a KitchenAid, combine —
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- finely chopped parsley
- finely chopped basil
- finely chopped oregano
To the flour mixture, add —
- 3 Tablespoons coconut or olive oil
- 1 organic egg
Mix well. The dough will be floury and crumbly. With the mixer running, add, by tablespoonful —
- 2-4 Tablespoons ice-cold water
The pizza crust has reached the proper consistency when it is soft, but not wet, and there is no longer excess flour on the bottom of the mixing bowl.
Oil a baking sheet with coconut or olive oil, then transfer the dough to the baking sheet. With your fingers, flatten out the crust foccacia style, so it is covered with small “dimples”.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Summer Vegetable Toppings
In a glass pan, place the following —
- 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
- 1/3 green pepper, diced
Drizzle with olive oil.
Put both the baking sheet with the pizza crust and the pan with the toppings in the oven, and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. This step infuses the tomatoes and green pepper with a roasted flavor, removes excess moisture, and keeps the pizza from becoming soggy.
While the crust and toppings are baking, make the pizza sauce.
Blended Fresh Pizza Sauce
Place the following in a blender —
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1/2 clove crushed garlic
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- dash of water to blend, if needed
Blend until the mixture is the consistency of pizza sauce.
After 20 minutes of baking, remove the toppings and the crust from the oven. Spread a thin layer of sauce over the hot crust (you may have some left over).
Place the roasted tomatoes and green peppers on the pizza. You may also add a few paper-thin slices of peeled raw zucchini or baby spinach leaves at this point if you wish.
Finally, drizzle a generous 1/4 cup tahini over all the toppings and the sauce.
Return the pizza to the oven and bake at 400 F for 10-15 additional minutes, until the tahini bubbles and takes on the appearance of hot melted cheese.
Cut into slices as desired and serve with a tall glass of rosemary lemon fresca, reveling in the fact that you’ve successfully transformed pizza into garden-fresh summer fare.
Images are the author’s own.