The Standards: Sunflower Seed Pizza
Here at Food First, I’m continuing a series on gluten-free, dairy-free, veg intense dishes that are standards in our home.
This pizza is the quintessential standard in our house. For us, pizza has always been the perfect foil for the season’s best vegetables. This recipe makes one 12 x 12-inch crust and more than enough dairy-free cheese and fresh tomato sauce to top it. I’ll leave additional toppings to you. One of our favorites is steamed or sautéed Swiss chard, pitted kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Another is shredded zucchini marinated for a few minutes in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic and oregano, topped with fresh tomato, and basil. One of the tastiest pizzas ever was first layered with spinach then topped with sauerkraut. In a pinch, arugula or spinach drizzled with olive oil does just fine. Instead of red sauce, we’ve substituted a dairy-free basil pesto with delicious results. There’s no reason you couldn’t add your favorite Italian style sausage, too.
We store the pizza crust separately in the refrigerator and assemble it just before serving, as the toppings tend to make the crust soggy. The crust can be warmed in the dehydrator or oven, and the toppings gently warmed on the stove.
This recipe, with a few minor adjustments, comes from the chefs at Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, AZ.
Sunflower Seed Pizza
CRUST: • 1 1/3 cups sunflower seeds • 2/3 cups walnuts • 1 cup peeled zucchini • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 4 tsp mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme) or 2 tsp Italian seasoning • ½ tsp salt • 1/8 tsp black pepper • 1/3 cup filtered water • 1/3 cup ground golden flax seed
Puree zucchini in blender. To an S-blade food processor add remaining ingredients, except the ground flax seed. Add the zucchini puree and process until fine. Transfer mixture to a bowl then stir in ground flax seed. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes, then spread on Teflex dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate for 4 hours at 145°F, turn the crust, then dehydrate for 7 to 9 hours at 115°F. Alternately, spread onto a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and bake on the warm setting of your oven for 4 to 6 hours. Turn the crust when the surface looks firm. To turn the crust, place a dehydrator tray or cookie sheet on top of the crust. Hold the trays or sheets together firmly. Turn over. Remove the tray/sheet and peel off the Teflex sheet or silicon mat.
When finished, the crust should be dry but not crispy like crackers.
CHEEZE: • 2 cups of brazil nuts or 1 cup brazil nuts and 1 cup almonds or cashews • 4 tsp lemon juice • ½ tsp oregano • 1 small clove garlic • 1/4 tsp salt • Pinch white pepper • 1 cup filtered water • Chopped fresh or dried herbs to taste (optional) Using an S-blade food processor, blend the above ingredients into a cream. Add optional herbs if desired.
RED SAUCE • 2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped or grape tomatoes • 2/3 cups sun-dried tomatoes • 1/3 red bell pepper • 1 to 2 tsp fresh rosemary • 1/4 cup fresh basil, packed firmly into measuring cup • 4 tsp olive oil • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice • 1/2 tsp salt • Small pinch chili pepper flakes
Blend all ingredients together in an S-blade food processor.
Top pizza crust with cheese, then red sauce. Add your choice of vegetables and if desired, pizza meats.