What’s the best way to use up an abundance of summer vegetables? Pizza, obviously. And in as much time as it takes to order delivery, you can make a summer pie that’s bursting with flavor and able to satisfy hungry guests. Bonus points: This pie is gluten-free, meat-free and dairy-free too. So what’s the trick?
This magical dish starts with a quick chickpea flour crust that needs only a little water, a little time and a few spices to make a tasty base for your pizza pie. Then, a pesto made from bright greens, citrus and a spoonful of avocado provides a creamy sauce. Thinly sliced zucchini and yellow squash (aka the pepperoni of the produce aisle!) add a pop of color and a buttery taste to finish it off.
But here’s the best part: You can build this pizza with whatever is left in the fridge or overgrowing in the garden (hello, squash!). And the more you think outside the pizza box, the more surprising and satisfying the pizza will be. Plus, the crust is so easy to make, you can create several versions for each guest. And when the first pie disappears, you can make seconds in minutes.
Summer Squash Chickpea Pizza
Makes 1 (12-inch) pizza
1 cup chickpea or garbanzo bean flour
¼ teaspoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon salt-free garlic powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 green onion, trimmed and roughly chopped
¼ cup arugula
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, plus extra for garnish
¼ cup salt-free pine nuts
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 small yellow squash or zucchini
Red chile pepper flakes
In a medium bowl, use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to mix the chickpea flour with ¾ cup of warm water and the dill, garlic powder and pepper. Slowly add ¼ cup more of water as needed until you have thick, pancake-like batter. Set the mixture aside while you prep the pesto.
Add ¼ cup olive oil, the garlic, green onion, arugula, cilantro, pine nuts and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add the avocado, and pulse again until everything is well combined. Set aside.
Preheat the broiler.
Carefully use a mandoline to thinly slice the yellow squash until you have a ¼-cup pile of squash rounds. (Set aside any leftovers for a weekday frittata or a raw squash carpaccio salad.)
You’re now ready to make your pizza. If the chickpea flour batter hardened, add a little water to reconstitute and give it a stir. Otherwise, in a 12-inch, oven-proof saute pan or skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chickpea flour batter to the skillet and use the spatula to spread the batter to the edge of the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the edges begin to crisp and brown. Then place the skillet on the middle rack in the oven to broil until golden brown in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Carefully remove the skillet. Spread the pesto on the crust and layer the squash rounds on top. Add a sprinkle of red chile flakes as desired and put it back into the oven to cook for final 2 to 3 minutes. Add extra cilantro leaves for garnish. Slice and serve.
Sodium content: Zucchini: 9 mg sodium per small zucchini squash. (All other ingredients 0 to 1 mg.)
All sodium content from the USDA National Nutrient Database, release 26, and based on values for raw ingredients for traditional serving sizes.
Jessica Goldman Foung began the blog SodiumGirl.com to capture her adventures in a low-sodium life. She regularly writes about salt-free flavor tips and ingredient swaps. Her first cookbook was Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook, and she is currently working on her second, to be released in 2015.