I have had the opportunity to taste some of the best pizza in the world. All of which were in my home country, Italy. Perhaps my opinion on this is slightly biased. No matter.
My mother also made a pretty awesome pizza. Both a chewy and crisp crust. I’ve not been able to replicate it. As the base for your toppings, the crust is first and foremost important.
Pizza was a Saturday night ritual in our home. Something to look forward to after a night of partying. My mother always made sure to leave some warming in the oven for us. Actually, I believe it was incentive for my then boyfriend to get me home, and to keep him coming back for more. After all it is said that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. ♥️ I’ve had some pretty big shoes to fill. Thanks mom.
Fast forward to a few days ago when I was craving pizza of another kind.
I’ve been investigating a few different methods of preparing a Paleo pizza crust, and I chose this particular one because I had the ingredients on hand and it seemed easy enough.
Recipe adapted from Love and lemons
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 cup almond meal( I used nuts.com)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp fresh basil finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped or ground prosciutto
4 Tbsp pitted roasted black olives
3 oz. goat cheese crumbled
Preheat oven to 450′
Process the cauliflower using this blade
In a large bowl mix the first 7 ingredients.
Place a piece of parchment paper over a baking tray unless you prefer a pizza stone. Either will work.
Spread the “dough” over the parchment evenly to a 1/4″ base.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, spread with some tomato sauce but not too much.
Then add your preferred toppings. Reduce oven temperature to 350′ and bake another 15 minutes.
I had the prosciutto olives and goat cheese so those were the toppings I chose.
By all means use whatever toppings you like.
Serves 8 as a side.
I love my herb garden. This year I’m growing basil, parsley,lemon thyme, sage, oregano,coriander and even curry.
Next time you make a salad, try adding fresh parsley and basil to your salad greens. It will brighten things up.
I’ve been craving bread so I started searching recipes for a good savoury herb bread.
I found a great basic Paleo bread recipe from Marks Daily Apple and made some minor changes.
This bread is just savoury enough and is amazing with herbed goat cheese. RECIPE BELOW
2 cups almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup rehydrated and chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/3 cup packed fresh basil finely chopped
1/4 cup golden flax meal (ground or processed flax seeds)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt *(alternately, try 1/4 tsp salt and 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese) if not100%paleo
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs * room temperature
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350′
Rehydrate tomatoes by placing them in a small pan with just enough water to cover them, simmer covered about 10 minutes over low heat,let sit in the water then remove when they are soft about another 10 minutes. Chop
Place almond flour, coconut flour, flax, salt and baking soda in a food processor
Pulse ingredients together, ADDING SUN DRIED TOMATOES AND BASIL * cheese optional
Pulse in eggs, oil, honey and vinegar
Spoon batter into a greased 7.5 x 3.5 loaf pan
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
Cool and serve
* If you do not use the recommended size loaf pan, your bread will not be the proper height. I used a long loaf pan and could easily have doubled this recipe giving the bread more height.
I recommend sealing and refrigerating or freezing for future use.
Serve with herbed goat cheese
In a bowl combine 1/2 cup softened goat cheese and 1/2 garlic clove pressed with 1 tbsp each chopped fresh chives,parsley or any herb you desire and a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
There are so many versions of pesto out there. This one is my go to.
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup walnut halves
1 large garlic clove
1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
ground chili peppers(optional) (to taste)
Start by filling a container or pitcher with cold water. Plunge the basil leaves into the water several times, then drain the water and repeat. This is the best way to get all the dirt and sand off the basil leaves.
Then lay the basil on a tea towel or paper towel to dry.
Once dry, snip the leaves from the stems, measure and place in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until it forms a coarse paste. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze in ice cub trays then store in zip lock bags. Use as a marinade for grilling chicken, fish and seafood, in tomato sauce to enhance the flavor or as a sauce on its own.
This is the perfect weekend to plant some herbs if you havent already done so. Basil is one of those herbs that keeps on giving. All you require is a sunny spot on your balcony or backyard and a planting container.
I suggest you purchase a few good size plants, water and feed them and in a month or so you’ll have enough basil to make and store pesto over the winter months. Sure beats running to the store every time you need a few leaves.
I’ve got a few containers planted already. Tomorrow, I’ll share my walnut basil pesto recipe.
These veggie mozzarella stacks are a play on Eggplant Parmigiana.
The ingredients come together to create a perfect meatless main.
I’m going to give you the store-bought version of this recipe today. For those of you that are less inclined to spend the time preparing each layer this version will suffice. Later on, we’ll tackle, home-made tomato sauce, pesto and roasted peppers.
1 Sicilian eggplant (round light purple ones, or baby italian eggplant)
2 roasted peppers cut into thirds
1 jar plain tomato sauce
1 container good quality store-bought basil pesto
1 buffalo mozzarella cut into 1/3″ or 1/2″ rounds
flour for dredging
olive oil for frying
Preheat your oven to 375′
Wash and cut the eggplant into 1″ slices, leaving the skin on.
Place a baking tray under a colander and layer the eggplant slices into the colander, lightly salting each layer. Place a paper towel over the last layer of eggplant and find something heavy to place over top. Leave this for a few hours to draw out the excess water from the eggplant before frying.
Remove the eggplant from the colander and lightly dredge each slice into flour. Rinse and dry the baking tray and place a rack over the tray. Keep this beside the stove.
In a large skillet, add enough olive oil so that it comes about 1 inch up the sides. Keep your heat at medium high. Add a few of the sliced eggplant and fry 2-3 minutes per side to achieve a light golden color. Place the cooked eggplant on the rack and sprinkle some sea salt over them.
In a baking dish (glass or ceramic) add just enough tomato sauce to lightly cover the bottom. Next, the layering begins. Place the eggplant over the sauce, then a piece of roasted pepper, mozzarella slice, 1 tsp pesto and repeat. Finish with a few tbsp of sauce.
Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
Serve warm not hot.