Saturday, March 5, 2011

Farinata with Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella

For the past nine months I have been working on a complete overhaul of my eating habits. The result of these changes has been dramatic. While I miss many of the things I used to eat, I have learned some new recipes to replace them. Pizza was one thing I had pretty much given up on. I had been able to create a simulated pizza on a whole wheat pita, but it just didn't taste the same. I accidentally bumped into a recipe for chickpea flour pizza by Madhur Jaffrey. Her recipe inspired me to create my own pizza below.

Farinata with Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella
1 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and sliced
low fat mozzarella, shredded
fresh grated parmesan
fresh basil, chopped
red onions, sliced thinly
extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper

Combine flour and water and mix well. Put in a covered container and let sit in refrigerator at least one hour and up to 24 hours. I had best results when I made the batter a day in advance. When ready to prepare pizzas, add salt and stir batter again as it may have settled while sitting. Preheat broiler and place on oven rack to the top and one in the middle. If you have a pizza stone, place it on the lower shelf. A baking sheet will work too. Heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in an oven safe non-stick skillet (a 10.5 inch non-stick skillet will make three 8 inch pizzas). When pan is hot, pour 1/3 of the batter in the bottom of the skillet to about pancake thickness and cook until edges turn golden brown. Use a toothpick to pierce any bubbles that form. When the edges begin to brown, place your choice of toppings on the pizza making sure that you keep them light. You don't want to overload toppings on the farinata as it will get soggy. Give the pizza a few quick lashings of olive oil and a grind of pepper and place skillet under the broiler until the top is golden. Gently remove pizza to pizza stone on lower shelf to crisp up for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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