Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Zucchini pizza crust

This post is part of The Great Pizza Experiment


The veggie pizza crusts are definitely my favorite; there's nothing like packing a POUND of vegetables into a pizza crust! So of course when I saw this recipe for zucchini pizza, I knew I had to try it. 

I ended up making this twice, as the first time I made it exactly according to the recipe, it was much too mushy and soft. So, I added the following steps. First, I initially halved the zucchini lengthwise, scooped out the seeds, and discarded them. Next, after shredding, I tossed it with salt and let it sit in a colander for ten minutes. The salt helped a lot in drawing out moisture, and then when I squeezed the shreds in a tea towel, the water just poured out. This created a crust that was very nice and crispy on top but the bottom was still soft, so the final recipe modification is to flip the crust over halfway through baking.

I did prefer the cauliflower pizza but if I have a lot of zucchini to use up I would make this again. Also, if you're doing something super-strict like Atkins induction, zucchini is slightly lower in carbohydrates than cauliflower. In particular, my cauliflower pizza recipe has a few extra carb grams due to my use of pre-seasoned frozen cauliflower, which you can of course replace with fresh or unseasoned frozen.

Thick or thin crust: Thin
Taste: 7. It tasted like cheese and zucchini -- sounds good to me!
Texture: 7 with my modifications, albeit even after making those changes it was still softer than the cauliflower pizza.
"Realness": 5 if you use unpeeled zucchini. To make it look more like a pizza crust, you can peel the zucchini, though I neglected this step since the skin is so nutritious. If you do peel the zucchini, bear in mind that there is a greenish layer underneath the skin so you'll basically have to double-peel each one. So buy more than you think you need, as you lose a lot of veggie matter. I would say a 6 with peeled zucchini. However, the shreds are still distinct which detracts from the "realness". The cauliflower pizza fools people more easily.
Ease of preparation: With my extra steps, probably medium. It's not difficult, just kind of annoying. Pizza-stuffed zucchini boats would be a simpler alternative.

WELL-DRAINED ZUCCHINI FOR CLEOCHATRA'S ZUCCHINI PIZZA

  • 24-32 oz (weight) zucchini (use the high end of this range if you plan to peel it) 
  • 1.5 tsp table salt or 1 Tbs kosher salt
DIRECTIONS
  1. Peel zucchini, if desired.
  2. Use a small spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds from the zucchini. Shred the seedless zucchini using a grater or the shredding disk in a food processor.
  3. Toss the zucchini shreds with the salt. Let it sit in a colander for ten minutes.
  4. Transfer the zucchini shreds to a clean tea towel lined with several layers of paper towels. Wring it out to get as much water out as possible. You should be left with about a cup of zucchini.
  5. Proceed to use it in Cleochatra's zucchini pizza crust! After it is done baking, flip it over and bake it for an additional 5-10 minutes.
 NUTRITION (1/2 pizza, crust only, using egg whites and low-fat cheese)
198 calories, 9g fat, 5 net carbs (6g total carbohydrate + 1g fiber), 19g protein
Note: I am not sure how draining the zucchini ultimately affects the nutrition values. I am using the counts for undrained zucchini.

ETA:  I have since used the well-drained zucchini to make hybrid pizza, with zucchini replacing half of the cheese. I like that preparation even more! It is pictured below, topped with peanut sauce, crushed peanuts, chicken breast, and broccoli slaw.



5 comments:

anna said...

mmmmm!!! super!! looks amazing; what a great idea!! cheers :-)

christina said...

yumm i want some!!

jennifer said...

I love how thorough and empirical you're being with this experiement! I don't do dairy, so I'm wondering how you think this Zuc crust would work without the cheese.

Erica said...

@ anna & christina: Thanks! Let me know if you try it!

@jennifer: The cheese is really what holds the zucchini shreds together, so if you nix the dairy I would use something else in its place. You could try something like 1/4 cup golden flax meal + 1/4 cup almond meal, and use a whole egg in place of the two egg whites. Let me know if you give this a shot!

TABC Certification Online said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe it's definitely a really good reward for my brother who got his Food Safety Training last week. But still work on the dough first. I'm not really the cook-type but I'd like to do something special for him.

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