This recipe was originally posted in Sept. of 2015. I’ve made some changes that improve the crust. I’ve started making this again as our garden is supplying a bumper crop of zucchini this year! Something to consider if you have an abundance of zucchini: grate and squeeze out the water as described below and store in the freezer in zip-lock bags (2 cups per bag) for pizza or soup during the winter months ( you will need to thaw it in the refrigerator for a day before using for dough but you can add it frozen to soups or stews). Don’t discard the juice–such a waste! Either add small amounts (it is pretty salty) to vegetable juice or make an avocado smoothie or add to soups (and add less salt to your soup).
Pizza dough does not have to be high glycemic (high in carbohydrates that quickly and significantly raise blood sugar). If you use gluten-free baking mixes that are high in starch you are avoiding gluten but you are still pushing your body’s sugar handling ability to its limits–besides that these mixes of various gluten-free starches are notoriously difficult to digest and so create indigestion and gas in many people. This recipe dilutes the corn flour that is the basis of the dough with zucchini so it provides a lot less starch per serving than the gluten-free dough. Besides that it is a great way to make good use of big zucchinis that your garden or your neighbors may have provided you! I had 2 foot-long zucchini that I almost pitched in the compost when this recipe popped into my head. Perhaps you remember the zucchini crusted pizza recipe from the classic Moosewood Cookbook–the dough in her recipe has more of a crepe texture than a crust texture but her use of zucchini inspired me. The finished product here is more crusty. Be sure to squeeze out the liquid from the grated, salted zucchini or you’ll ruin the crust. As for toppings, use what you like. I have a lot of roasted tomatoes preserved in olive oil on hand so I used that instead of tomato sauce. You could also keep it simple and use pesto or fresh slices of tomato instead of sauce. Other options are olives, artichoke hearts,and anchovies, all of which will jazz it up if you are dairy-free and omit the cheese.
One other note on the corn flour: I used organic masa harina made from organic whole corn instead of regular unrefined corn flour. You can use either (be sure that you buy organic or it may be GMO) but organic masa harina is harder to find. I had to order it from Amazon. In case you don’t know, masa harina is the traditionally prepared form of corn flour (cooked and soaked in lime water before grinding) that is more nutritious than regular corn flour. It is easier to digest and makes a softer dough also.
Dough for 1 12-inch pizza round
zucchini (1 large or 2 medium-sized that equals about 2 -3 cups grated)
1 and 1/4 cup masa harina corn flour or 100% whole corn flour
1/4 cup hulled sesame seeds, ground in blender
4 Tbsp. arrowroot flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt for dough and 3/4 tsp. sea salt for zucchini
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp. for oiling pan
Grate the zucchini with a vegetable grater into a large bowl and add 3/4 tsp. sea salt. Stir well and let sit 15 minutes. Line a colander with cheese cloth or a light weight kitchen towel and place over a bowl (if you want to save the zucchini juice to drink or add to broth or soup) or in the sink (if you want to discard the juice). Transfer the grated zucchini into the colander and let the juice strain out for a few minutes. Gather the corners of the cloth and tighten it by twisting so that the juice is squeezed out. You won’t get the zucchini totally dry but you do want to remove as much liquid as possible.
Place all ingredients into a food processor except the zucchini. Process until well mixed. Add the grated, dry zucchini and process again briefly until just mixed and forming a soft dough. If a ball of soft- but -not -wet dough does not form, add more masa harina 2 Tbsp. at a time processing after each addition until a good dough forms. The dough should be easy to handle–not sticking to your hands–so that you can press it into a well-oiled baking tray or pizza pan (use 1 Tbsp. olive oil). Bake at 325 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with your chosen toppings. I brush the crust with 2 Tbsp.olive oil containing 2 cloves crushed garlic and then top with roasted tomatoes (these won’t be as watery as fresh tomato slices), chopped sweet red pepper, olives, and grated cheese–you can use grated romano (sheep’s milk) or feta (goat’s milk) cheese if you are avoiding cow milk products. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until toppings are cooked through or cheese is lightly golden.