Gluten-Free Pizza Night!

I am very lucky: my local pizza joint features gluten-free pizza (and they take care to avoid cross-contamination). It’s pretty much the only GF option on the menu, so I’ve made it my mission to inject variety into my pizza experience. Sometimes, the husband joins in the craziness; sometimes, I’m free to experiment with flavors without worrying about his idea of appropriate pizza toppings!

I know I’m doing something right: the staff at my place tell me they order my combinations for themselves…right down to the gluten-free crust.

Truth is, the husband and I were in a bit of a pizza rut before I went gluten-free. We’d found our combination and were loathe to change. Now I attack new flavors like they’re a hobby. Basil? Artichoke hearts (yes, please!)? Fresh ricotta? Sausage? Pesto? Olive oil with light toppings?

And before you starting thinking I’m crazy, let me confess sometimes I head straight for the traditional pepperoni, tomato sauce, and cheese combo. Since I discovered the deliciousness of the America’s Test Kitchen Pizza crust — a labor intensive baking project that’s worth it! — we’ve been making pizza a couple times a month. The husband takes over after I’ve made the crust; he’s a former pizza chef and find my method of saucing to be, well, sub-par compared to the professionals.

Here’s a sort of step-by-step I posted on Facebook that will give you a sense of how this recipe works.

For more on gluten-free pizzas and some topping ideas, see below, and please share your favorite pizza ideas! What is your pizza secret?

Gluten-Free Pizza Combinations

  • Pepperoni and Cheese — Nothing beats this old classic. Punch up a store-bought sauce with red pepper flakes and fresh herbs to add flavor.
  • Artichoke Hearts, Fresh Garlic, and Basil — The first time I had artichoke hearts on a pizza was a revelation. My husband was skeptical, until he took that first bite. Now this is our go-to pizza combination.
  • Pears, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts — Want to impress your friends with a great party dish? This vegetarian pizza also includes caramelized onions and a drizzle or two of balsamic vinegar. Briefly saute thinly sliced pears with the onions before spreading them on a thin pizza crust (go rectangular to mimic a flatbread). A bit of olive oil on a pre-baked crust, pop under the broiler for 10 to 12 minutes. Delicious!
  • Pesto and Ricotta — The staff at my local pizza place go crazy when pizza with fresh ricotta is ordered. There’s a good reason: this creamy, light cheese is amazing on pizza. It melts just enough to be full of flavor, but not so much that it loses its shape. Add some diced pepperoni if you want a bit of meat.
  • Sausage, Fresh Tomatoes, and Sage — I love sausage on pizza. I remove the casings and crumble it up. You can chop fresh tomatoes from the garden and top your pizza with that big summer flavor. Or take a bit of extra time and blister cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half under the broiler for a few minutes. This also dries them out a bit so you don’t get soggy pizza.

Tip of the Week

As I mentioned, the ATK gluten-free pizza crust is labor intensive. I double the batch, and, after cooling, carefully wrap the extra crusts in plastic for using later. In fact, when I’m making pizza on the grill, I find I get better results with the frozen crust than the fresh.

Bonus tip: The ATK recipe calls for almond flour, something I rarely have on hand. Since I almost always have blanched almonds in the cupboard, I make my own flour by grinding my own in an old coffee grinder I keep on hand for this purposes. One note: since I also use this machine for grinding all sorts of spices, I clean it carefully before adding the almonds to avoid weird flavors in my pizza dough!

Menu of the Week

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