Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Seriously Surprising "Pizza"

Basil Butterflies optional!
Society Hill neighbor, Alex, offered up this exotic Zucchini "Pizza."  Alex, who is a mother of three young children, is passionate about good food and likes to entice her children to enjoy veggies when she can.  This creative recipe was originally from the Moosewood Cookbook - a vegetarian bible from the 1960s and one of the first of its kind to introduce the American public to exotica such as hummus and tabbouleh.  (The books are still going strong; Amazon offers about15 different Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks...)

Alex explains: "I switched it up a bit. I actually would not call this pizza - but rather a pizza frittata or a zucchini 'pasta'. I made this a few days ago and the comments at the dinner table ranged from Chloe who said "it's so cheesy, the sauce is awesome and the crust is perfect"; Charlie said "can I have some more..?" and Liam's contribution which was simply "-licious" ( Liam-ese for delicious). My recipe is as follows:"

3.5 c coarsely-grated zucchini (about 2 large)
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1 T fresh basil, minced or 1/2 t dried
salt and pepper
1/2 box strained POMI tomatoes
2 cloves garlic

optional toppings -  let the kids customize their own!
roasted red peppers

Preheat the oven to 350. Grate the zucchini, salt them lightly, let them sit, then strain out excess moisture. Don't skimp on this step as soggy crust is the result! Combine all the ingredients through the Parmesan cheese, and spread mixture onto oiled 9 x 13 pan. Bake 20-25 minutes (until the surface is dry and firm). Then brush the top with oil and broil it, under moderate heat for 5 minutes.

While cooking - drizzle olive oil into pan and heat. When heated add chopped garlic then the strained tomatoes. Season as desired with salt and pepper or the herbs of your choice. Top 'crust' with tomato sauce and the toppings of your choice, then put the pan back in the 350 oven for another 25 minutes. 

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