What a whirlwind of a summer it has been!
I don't know about you, but Summer '13 was awesome. My brother and his wife welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world, there were milestone birthdays, I shot a cooking show pilot, and best of all --- it marked the one year anniversary of being back in NYC after my Ulcerative Colitis flare!
So, I thought I'd send out the summer with a bang. And, it must be the Midwestern gal in me, but for me, the best way to celebrate is with a pizza party! :)
SO, tonight, I had a pizza party...for one:) haha But it was INCREDIBLE!!
I made an Oven-Dried Tomato, Eggplant and Avocado Pizza w/ a Cauliflower Crust!
I wish you could see me right now...I'm doing a happy dance just writing about it. It was SO GOOD!!
Holy camoley, you guys. This was outrageous. Like...SO GOOD. I had never made Oven-Dried tomatoes before, and ohhhh my gosh. GAME. CHANGER. Seriously. If you take one thing away from this post, it's MAKE THE TOMATOES!! :D haha
And it's gluten free, Specific Carb Diet friendly and Paleo, and has a Vegan Option!
Here's what you need:
2 egg whites (Vegan option: 1 flax/chia egg)
1 cup cauliflower florets, riced
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tomato, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
4 mushrooms, sliced
fresh basil, sliced
1/2 avocado, mashed
1 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put your raw cauliflower florets in the food processor and process until it resembles rice. Then, place the rice in a clean kitchen towel (or several paper towels) and wring out all the liquid. This is a really important step. Combine it thoroughly with your almond flour, salt, and egg whites. Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet. Put your batter onto one sheet of parchment, and place the other sheet on top. “Smoosh” it out fairly thin. Spritz the top with EVOO. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
Also, toss your eggplant with 1 Tbsp EVOO, salt and pepper. Then, place your tomato and eggplant slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, flipping the eggplant halfway through. Then, take the eggplant off and set aside. Now, to get your tomato slices suuuuper dry and chewy, you'll need to turn the oven off and leave them in there with the door closed for another hour. However, you can forgo that step and eat them as is.
Next, brown your mushrooms in a skillet with 1 tsp EVOO. Do this by placing them in a single layer and then don't touch them for about 3-4 minutes, so that they can brown. Then, flip, and let sit untouched for another 3 minutes. Take off the stove and hit with salt and pepper.
Finally, mash your avocado with salt.
To assemble: spread your avocado in a thin layer. Top with slices of tomato, eggplant, mushrooms, pine nuts, and fresh chopped basil.
OK, this was officially one of the best things ever. Oven-dried tomatoes are seriously amazing. They become intensely sweet and "tomato-y." And they're nice and chewy and sticky. And combined with the creamy eggplant, and chewy and earthy mushrooms, it was just fantastic.
And the crust! Goodness, it was good. It was nutty and chewy and the perfect vessel for this delicious meal!
The avocado -- one of my favorite foods. It's buttery, luxurious, and so creamy! And the basil really gave the right amount of freshness to the dish.
Finally, it was a beautiful dish. It was rustic and regal looking. A stunner for sure.
Let's make it a great autumn! What are you looking forward to this September?
Want more GFHT? You can now get my e-cookbook, The Best of GlutenFreeHappyTummy for only $2.99 on Amazon!