Pizza exposes the chip on my culinary shoulder (although let’s be honest, it’s never far from the surface). Anyone who knows me might be under the misconception that I “hate pizza” maybe because I’m always shaking my head whenever anyone wants to go to a pizza joint. However, it’s a bit more complicated than simple dislike. Pizza is like kids’ food: cheap, sloppy, inarguably delicious. It’s dough, tomato sauce, meat and cheese for crissakes… how could it be bad? Anyway, it tastes great but usually bores me. Hence the fact I’ve never made a pizza of my own before.
Anyway: meet the death of my scorn for pizza, because this is delicious, nutritious and posh in a streamlined, veggie-heavy way. It’s got a sprinkling of lamb and a sprinkling of feta (Paleo police avert your eyes) paired with thinly sliced and diced vegetables in a rich sauce spiked with ras el hanout.
I photographed this sucker in the half-light of a San Francisco sunset, and the zucchini came out electric didn’t it? Such a beautiful green. What this picture doesn’t show, is that when I tried to get it off of the aluminum foil it stuck! So badly we ate shards of pizza rather than slices of pizza. According to my cheerful taste-tester it’s like this spacecraft flight, totally successful until it ended with a slight bummer. Made me smile.
So learn from my mistake and put it on a non-stick surface for baking!
- 3 cups 'riced' cauliflower (about 2 small heads)
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp ras el hanout
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ras el hanout
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 zucchini
- 1/2 Chinese eggplant
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 lb ground lamb
- 2 oz fresh feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking tray with wax paper and set aside.
- Coarsely chop the cauliflower, place in food processor and blend until it is a fine rice-like texture.
- Measure 3 cups of the cauliflower ‘rice’ and place in a mixing bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients for the crust and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs and combine again.
- Transfer to the waxed paper and form into a pizza base by flattening the dough with your hands. Pre-bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
- While the crust bakes, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown the ground lamb briefly. While it cooks, finely chop the bell peppers and thinly slice the eggplant and zucchini.
- Mix the tomato paste with two tbsp water to thin it, then mix in 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp ras el hanout and 1 tsp red pepper flakes.
- Once the crust is pre-baked, remove from the oven and spread the tomato mixture over it with the back of a spoon. Lay the sliced zucchini and eggplant rounds over it and sprinkle on the bell pepper.
- Top with the browned lamb and feta cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Return the pizza to the oven, bake for 10 additional minutes until the veggies are softened but nothing is burnt.
- I used aluminum foil under the crust, but do as I say and not as I do: either use wax paper or a heavily greased pizza pan.