Hey Friends, have you noticed that it's September? Back to life and reality. Could be good or bad depend on how you look at it. It is a good thing for me and my family, yet still sad that the lazy days of summer are behind us. Our garden is winding down on production, but we also have lots of winter squash and pumpkins to look forward to. Yet, I still have one yummy recipe that I made from the ripe tomatoes in our garden.
Pizza. Yep, I call it "home-grown" pizza because it has a "from scratch" crust. Plus it is adorned with toppings and sauce from the vegetables in our garden. I do not have a goat in the backyard so the cheese would have to be store bought, but for the sake of this city girl, this pizza is as close as it gets to being 'home grown'. So indulge me :)
This is one of those gluten-free creations that I whipped up last minute and was surprised to see that it turned out. It was a crispy crusty bottom with a chewy middle: perfect thin crust pizza. I swear gluten-free baking isn't that hard. Just throw some flours together and you will be surprised that it can bake just like anything else. Mixing flours is always the key. It may not be exactly comparable, but it has texture and flair of it's own. Sometimes you just have to trust yourself and let loose. Forget about being all stiff and crowded in the kitchen...make a mess and let loose. You will thank yourself when you do because you might just come up with an amazing delicious creation.
Your creative medium can be food. Make something with what you got, and I've got the tomatoes let me tell you. I have been skimping on other staple groceries lately and it is because we have so much fresh tomatoes and food to be eaten. So we may have eaten our fare of sauce and tomato sandwiches, but it doesn't get old when they taste like heaven from the vine. If you find yourself getting sick of them, then start canning/freezing them baby. They will taste amazing to you again by mid January when you need some yummy fresh goodness on your plate.
Here is my simple sauce ingredients and directions... pretty darn simple really.
Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipe (marinara, pizza or whatever)
8 large tomatoes or about 4 pounds of whatever tomato variety you got
2 cups of fresh basil
1 large sweet yellow onion
4 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup of olive oil
3 Tb of coconut palm sugar or sucanat
1 ts.. of sea salt
1 ts. of cracked black pepper or red pepper flakes if you prefer spicy
optional additions: 1 carrot for sweetness and flavor, 1 stalk of celery for flavor
First, blanch your tomatoes to remove skins. Slit an "X" on the bottom of the tomatoes and then emerge in a pot of boiling water for 45-60 seconds, then pull out and emerge in a bowl of ice cold water. The tomato skin should come right off, and if you need help go to the "X" spot and slowly peal the skin back. Do this to all of the tomatoes, then take half of them and put them in a high powered blender with the olive oil, sugar and rough diced onion, garlic cloves and fresh basil leaves. Blend till smooth, and then pour into a large soup pot. Then diced up the rest of the raw tomatoes in little chunks. If you prefer smooth sauce, them blend these as well. Pour all of the tomatoes into the pot and start to boil, add sea salt and black pepper to your taste and then pretty much all you have to do it simmer/boil cook with the top of for about 2 hours until the sauce is thickened and cooked a deep red color. Of course you should taste as you cook :) Just make sure you let it cool off a touch before you insert into your mouth....because you will burn your tongue right off :)
Then, after 2 hours you have a huge pot of sauce, to use over fresh pasta, pizza crust or can in jars... really you could just drink it.... it is that good. I made pasta one night, and then decided on freezing some sauce and then made another batch a few days later to make this pizza. Hm, absolute love tomatoes. Here is also a picture guide to make a pretty similar sauce by Smitten Kitchen.
Crunchy Corn-Crusted Pizza Crust Recipe
2/3 cup of organic millet flour
2/3 cup of organic corn flour
2/3 cup of organic corn meal
2/3 cup of tapioca flour
1 ts. of xanthan or guar gum
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of baking powder
1 1/4 cup of pure water
2-3 TB of olive oil
Mix the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and make sure to add water slowly to get the texture of dough that you want. You want sticky, and not too hard, and you also want it to fluff just a bit after you mix everything a let it settle together a minute. Then spread out the pizza dough with a spatula ( it's sticky!) not like traditional pizza dough that you can play with it with your hands and toss, but it's GF so ya know... use a parchment paper covered 11x14 pan to spread out the dough on. Then bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until it is cooked and crispy. Then add your sauce and toppings right away to the hot crust.
To my "Home Grown" Pizza I added:
-diced green bell peppers
-shredded curly kale
-fresh basil leaves
-fresh slices of heirloom tomatoes (yes more tomatoes!)
I put sauce first on the crust, then added the diced pepper and kale, then add the cheeze, and then topped it off with the pretty tomato sliced and basil leaves. Then bake again in the 375 degree oven for another 10 minutes or so until the cheeze melts.
Those were my garden toppings, but you could add whatever you want to this pizza crust. More veggies, or real mozzarella cheese, or some pineapple and bacon, whatever you want really.
It turned out fabulous and my husband was in love with it. It was a perfect crust of crispy and chewy, and so simple really when it comes to making a dough. You just have to make sure that you use fresh flours and mix the dry ingredients before you add the water and oil. I like using organic corn flours because there is not genetically modified ingredients in it, but you could use any GF corn meal and flour for this recipe.
I hope you try this one out, or at least make some fresh tomato sauce from scratch this season. Tomato season is coming to a close, but I bet you could still find some ugly overly ripe tomatoes at the local market to make a batch of yummy sauce. It will change your world.
Much love and light to you today!