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Gluten-free Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes and Artichokes

How to Cook Gluten-Free by Elizabeth Barbone

Elizabeth Barbone, who has just about the coolest glasses on the planet, asked me to test some recipes from her brand-new cookbook, How to Cook Gluten-Free. I haven’t jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon, but decided it would be fun to see what all the fuss is about.

Elizabeth sent me a handful of recipes – Powdered Sugar Doughnut Muffins (probably not the best choice for me), Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette (sounds really good and diabetic-friendly, but it’s pretty similar to the Beet, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad with Fruity Vinaigrette recipe that I posted a couple of weeks ago), Roasted Tomato Pizza with No-Rise Pizza Crust and Upstate “Goulash” (basically, a GF pasta dish that is fairly high in carbs). I decided to try the pizza.

The crust for this pizza is made with white rice flour, tapioca starch and xanthan gum, three products that, I can say with 100% accuracy, have never been in my grocery cart before. I figured I would have to order these ingredients from the Internet, but my local grocery stores surprised me. Yes, I had to go to three different stores that are 40 miles apart, but that’s a small price to pay for being able to buy local.

One thing I really like about this pizza is the use of roasted tomatoes instead of a tomato-based sauce. When you roast the tomatoes yourself, you can control the amount of salt and skip sugar entirely. With prepared sauces, you have to read labels carefully to see how much of these ingredients they contain. The roasted tomatoes with the artichokes and caramelized onions is an inspired combination. I loved this pizza, especially after I hit my slice with a little bit of Tabasco sauce!

The No-Rise Pizza Crust is very different from other pizza crusts I’ve made. For one thing, it’s very dry when you knead it (Elizabeth says this is normal). I ended up adding more water than the recipe called for just to get the dough to hold together. Once baked, the crust is thin and crisp, almost like a cracker. The Grillmaster likened it to “a shortbread crust that isn’t sweet.” It would be a nice neutral canvas for many different toppings, sweet or savory.

The most important thing to remember is that

Gluten-free does NOT mean carb-free.

One-twelfth of this pizza has 32g of carb. I would serve this as an appetizer rather than as a meal so you won’t be tempted to have a second (or third) piece.

You can find Elizabeth online at glutenfreebaking.com and you can buy your own copy of How to Cook Gluten-Free at amazon.com.

I’ve reprinted the recipes below as they appear in the cookbook. A few notes:

  • Elizabeth says the recipe serves 4, but one-quarter of this pizza contains 96g of carbs! I’d go for a smaller serving size.
  • I didn’t read the recipe carefully enough when I started and didn’t realize I needed to caramelize onions until the crust was in the oven! It all worked out, but next time I’ll work on the onions while the tomatoes are roasting.
  • I used 8 oz of part-skim mozzarella to cut back on the fat in the recipe. I also like my cheese distributed evenly across the pizza, so I used shredded instead of sliced.
  • I added freshly ground black pepper to the tomatoes and salt before roasting.
  • I think I’ll add garlic, basil, oregano and maybe some crushed red pepper next time. I like my pizza with a bit more kick.

If you have any experiences with gluten-free eating, I’d love to hear them!

Gluten-free Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes and Artichokes

Roasted Tomato Pizza

Reprinted with permission from How to Cook Gluten-Free by Elizabeth Barbone

This pizza is sauce-free but not tomato-free. Rather, the tomatoes are oven-roasted for a deep, rich tomato flavor. I usually use grape tomatoes because they are easy to find and roast really well. In the summer use whatever great tomatoes you find at the farmers’ market. I’ve used Sun Gold tomatoes, which are supersweet little yellow tomatoes, with fabulous results.

2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
Olive oil
Kosher salt
1 No-Rise Pizza Crust (recipe below)
3/4 cup caramelized onions
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and halved (or quartered if large)
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line an 18 by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with a generous drizzle of olive oil. You want the tomatoes to be glistening with olive oil but not drenched. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and toss to coat tomatoes.

3. Spread the tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the tomatoes soft; the edges should be a dark golden brown with some black spots. (Roasting time will vary depending on tomatoes. Check them after 20 minutes.)

4. Remove the tomatoes from the oven. Leave the oven on. Using a large spatula, scrape tomatoes into a small bowl. [DF note: I didn't bother putting the tomatoes in a bowl. I just left them on the baking sheet until I put them on the pizza.]

5. Lightly brush olive oil over the crust.

6. Bake the crusts for 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

7. Top crust with caramelized onions, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and mozzarella.

8. Return pizza to the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Fresh mozzarella does not really brown, after 5 minutes check the pizza. If the cheese is melted, it’s done. If not, bake for a little longer. Remove from the oven and return to wire rack. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

No-Rise Pizza Crust

Reprinted with permission from How to Cook Gluten-Free by Elizabeth Barbone

2 cups white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. In a small bowl, mix together the water, eggs, and oil with a fork or small whisk until combined. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine until a dough forms. The dough will be on the dry side. This is normal.

2. Generously sprinkle your counter with white rice flour. Turn the dough out onto the counter. Knead the dough until it is smooth. If, after kneading for a minute, the dough is still dry and doesn’t hold together, add a tablespoon more water.

3. Center the dough on a 16 1/2 by 12 1/2-inch piece of parchment paper. Dust the dough generously with white rice flour. Roll out the dough until it covers the parchment paper.

4. Set an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet very close to the rolled-out crust. Grab the corners of one of the long sides of the parchment paper and slide the crust into the pan. Do this quickly.

5. Top and bake as directed in the recipe.

Makes 12 servings
Per serving (with part-skim mozzarella): 268 calories, 4g fat (3g sat), 49mg cholesterol, 397mg sodium, 32g carb, 3g fiber, 4g sugar, 2g protein

Nutritional Analysis: The sodium in this recipe is coming primarily from the salt in the crust, the canned artichokes and the mozzarella cheese. If you are watching your sodium intake, look for frozen artichoke hearts, which have less sodium. You may also want to reduce the amount of salt and cheese. If you are watching fat and cholesterol, you may want to use egg substitute instead of eggs in the crust.

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2 comments to Gluten-free Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes and Artichokes

  • The pizza looks fantastic! And I love the idea of serving it as an appetizer. Yum!

    As for “Gluten-free does NOT mean carb-free.” YES! I can’t tell you how many folks–especially when I first started teaching and carb-free was very common—would say, “I want to try gluten-free because I’m watching my carbs.” We’d have a little chat about how many naturally gluten-free foods were low-carb but baked good, like traditional wheat baked goods, were not. :-)

    Thanks for cooking along! And I love that you’ve never baked gluten-free before and made a gluten-free pizza crust. Makes my baker’s heart sing!

  • I’m a big Elizabeth Barbone fan and am delighted to see this (and other) reviews of her new book. I love the idea of a quick and easy GF no-rise pizza crust. This will definitely go in my rotation of recipes to teach in my GF classes. Can’t wait to get my own copy of the book!

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