Spring Skillet Pizza with Chickpea Flour Crust
By: 
Dish Type: Pizza
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredient prep: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 6 to 8 servings
 
Gluten free/vegetarian/vegan easily. Chickpea flour makes the BEST gluten free deep dish pizza crust! Once you sink your teeth into this pie, you'll completely forget that it's pretty dang healthy.
Ingredients
Crust
Pesto (makes 1½ C - see notes)
  • 4 C packed baby spinach (5 oz. tub)
  • 1½ C packed parsley leaves (half of a large bunch)
  • ¼ C pine nuts or sunflower seeds, toasted if you like
  • ¼ C hemp seeds (also called hemp hearts; available at Trader Joe's, and they're on Amazon)
  • 3 T Meyer lemon juice (see notes for substitutions)
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ C olive oil
  • 1½ t kosher or sea salt
  • Ground pepper
Leek and tomato topping
  • 1½ T olive oil
  • 2 large leeks or spring onions, white and light green parts, sliced ⅛" thick
  • ⅓ t dried basil
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (or 1⅓ C fresh diced)
  • Dash of honey or maple syrup
  • 1 T capers, roughly chopped
  • ¼ C crumbled feta (optional; omit to keep the recipe vegan)
  • A few chopped or torn basil leaves (optional)
Make It
  1. 2 to 12 hours before baking: In a medium bowl, whisk chickpea flour, salt, and pepper together. Continue to whisk while pouring in the water (all of it), then whisk in 3½ tablespoons olive oil. Cover and let stand at room temperature.
  2. To make the pesto, fill a medium mixing bowl with ice water and bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add spinach and cook 30 seconds to a minute on high (even if the water doesn't return to a boil). Remove to the ice water for a couple minutes. Scoop spinach out and squeeze in your hands to remove as much water as possible.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the drained spinach, parsley, pine nuts, hemp seeds, lemon juice, and garlic until roughly chopped. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture forms a smooth, thick paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor once or twice. Pulse or stir in salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 (F) with rack in middle position.
  5. Heat olive oil in a 10 inch cast iron skillet or oven safe nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add leeks and dried basil and cook until tender and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, honey, and a pinch of salt, stir, and simmer until slightly thickened and most of the liquid has reduced, about 3 minutes. Stir in capers plus salt and pepper to taste. Cool in a bowl 5 to 10 minutes, then gently stir in feta and fresh basil, if using.
  6. Wipe out the skillet with a damp cloth then place in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Give the chickpea batter a stir. Working carefully with the hot pan (the oil and batter will sizzle when added), remove it from the oven and coat with 1½ tablespoons olive oil (a basting brush works well). Pour in chickpea batter and return pan to the oven. Bake about 25 minutes, until set in the middle and lightly browned on top.
  7. Cool slightly. To serve, top the whole pie or individual slices with pesto and tomato leek sauce. If making ahead, serve at room temperature or gently warmed.
Notes
The hemp seeds make this vegan pesto: they result in a creamy texture that traditional pesto gets from parmesan cheese. They're inexpensive at many grocery stores, but if you want you can substitute additional pine nuts or sunflower seeds.

Meyer lemons are seasonal, so if you can't find them when you're making this recipe, substitute regular lemons plus a dash of pure maple syrup or agave nectar.

I have a pretty big food processor so it works best when I make large batches of pesto in it. However, if you're working with a smaller appliance, feel free to halve the pesto recipe--you'll have plenty to top the pizza without leftovers.

Adapted from Food52.

The pesto can be made a day or two in advance.
Recipe by Natural Comfort Kitchen at http://www.naturalcomfortkitchen.com/spring-skillet-pizza-chickpea-flour-farinata-crust/