Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spinach, Tomato & Avocado Socca Pizza

One of my favourite treats for dinner time before the doctor told me I needed to go gluten free was pizza (with vegan cheese of course). I didn't make it very often though because I was very conscious it wasn't the healthiest choice, (plus I always got really ill afterwards... at least now I know why). I actually really loved it cold the next day. Please don't judge, it really is delicious! I tried indulging with store bought 'gluten-free' pizza bases instead. But I found them quite boring. I didn't really like the taste, and they kept breaking up on me, which got a bit frustrating. After all, isn't half the fun of pizza that you can pick up a slice and nibble on it?

 I went out with friends to a gluten-free cafe in LA one afternoon, and tried this amazing flat-bread type thing made from chickpea/garbanzo flour, called Socca. It was really delicious, and I could pick it up without it crumbling too! So, I got to thinking how yummy would this be if I added veggies & cheese and turned it into a pizza? And it was, it really really was! So here it is, my gluten free, vegan, 'non-crumbling' pizza.... enjoy foodies! :)

For the Socca batter:
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean flour (basically super-food processed chickpeas)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • sprinkling fresh ground black pepper
  • 1  teaspoon garlic fresh crushed or powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive or coconut oil for the pan
For the topping:
  • 3 tablespoons organic tomato paste/salsa/sauce or pesto, whatever you fancy & have in really. I used the paste (make sure it's gluten free & vegan)
  • Handful spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mozerella shreds (optional)
  • 1/2 avocado sliced.
  • Whatever other pizza toppings you like or have in (some of my favourites are red onion, olives, eggplant, mushrooms)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the skillet in it to warm up.
  2. Add the oil for cooking. While the oil is heating mix the socca batter in a large bowl or jug. Try and whisk any lumps out.
  3. Make sure the heated oil is covering the whole skillet, and pour in the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes until it turns golden brown.
  4. Take the socca out of the oven, using a plate, carefully flip the pizza crust. Put it back in the skillet and bake again for about 5 mins.
  5. Spread the pizza base with the tomato paste. Top with the sliced avocado and what ever other veggies you fancy.
  6. Lightly sprinkle the vegan mozerella shreds around, and broil until the cheese just starts to melt.
  7. Place the spinach leaves on the top & broil for 1 minute.
  8. Let cool slightly, slice into pizza wedges & serve! Or, alternatively, if you're like me eat the left overs cold the next day.

The bigger the skillet the thinner & crispier your pizza base will be. This is personal preference, but I think socca tastes better when it's slighty doughy still in the middle.

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