Zucchini Pizza with Homemade Lemon Herb Tofu “Cheese” and GF Crust

This recipe was inspired a few weeks ago by a post over at Smitten Kitchen.  I am constantly in awe of her creative recipes and stunning, crisp, clean presentation, but like to think of my own way to make the same dish.

Based loosely on a creamy pasta sauce with tofu I once made, I created my own way to make homemade tofu “cheese” that even gets soft and melty!  The first time I served it up was to non-vegans who thought I had used cheese.

Underneath it all is a gluten-free crust made of brown rice flour.  It’s much easier to make than wheat ones because you can’t over work the dough, and there’s no kneading required.  Plus it’s easy to cook it up nice and crispy if that’s what you’re into.
GF Brown Rice Flour Crust
1 c warm water
1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 c turbinado sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 c brown rice or sweet rice flour
some corn meal

Lemon Herb Tofu “Cheese”
10 ounces firm tofu
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp agar agar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry dill
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Toppings
1 large yellow zucchini
1 large green zucchini
a drizzle of olive oil
a squeeze of lemon juice
salt
fresh ground black pepper

Begin with the crust.  Activate the yeast in the warm water with sugar.  Let sit for about 15-20 minutes until it’s foamy.  Then add in the oil, salt, and rice flour.  Stir until there are no lumps.  You don’t have to knead the dough, just cover it and leave it in a warm place for about an hour to let rise a bit.

Start in on the “cheese.”  The key to this recipe is the agar agar, you could change most other ingredients but the agar is what gels everything and softens when it’s cooked.  It’s a gelatin substitute that is derived from seaweed, available at most health food stores or online.

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  This may take a while if you don’t have a powerful blender but just be patient.  When blended the consistency should be slightly thick like a dip.

Put the contents of the blender into a medium-sized pot on the stove over medium heat.  Cook for about 3 minutes while stirring.  This does two things, cooks off some of the water to create a thicker consistency, and activates the agar so it will actually gel.

When you’re done put it all into a clean jar or other container at least about 8-10 ounces big.  Stick it in the fridge to let it cool down and thicken.

Then you can chop up your zucchini.  I like to use yellow and green zucchini fresh from the farmers market, but you can just use one kind if that’s all you have.  It would probably also be good with thinly sliced eggplant!  But my experience with tomatoes slices is that they are too juicy so the whole thing is too mushy.

Once your crust has had time to rise and your goat cheese has had time to cool, you can preheat your oven to 425F and start to assemble everything.

You’ll notice the dough won’t get much bigger like a crust made with wheat flour, but you should notice a bit of inflating marked by slight cracks.  Using yeast and letting it rise will a make some bubbles in the crust and give it a little softness like a normal pizza crust.  But if you want a really crispy crust turn the oven up to 500F and cook a few minutes less.

Scoop out half of the dough to make 2 smaller but easier to handle pizzas.  I haven’t tried to make all the dough into one large pizza but it would probably work if you had big enough a pan.  for this i just used cookie sheets dusted with corn meal.

Grease your hands with a bit of olive oil and pick up that half of the dough.  It has a strange crumbly texture but just gently hand it back and forth between your hands until it’s a smooth ball.  Then gently set it on the baking sheet and begin to press it out in an even flat circle about 1/2 inch thick.  You an add more oil to your hands it it begins to stick.

Once it’s the size you’d like, get out the goat cheese, which will have thickened to a solid mass.   Crumble it with a spoon or fork and sprinkle the crumbles generously across the crust.

Top with the zucchinis in any pattern you’d like, then a drizzle of olive oil, a squirt of lemon, and a little salt and pepper.  That’s all!  Pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, but watch closely as the crust will easily burn at those temperatures.

Enjoy as deb from Smitten Kitchen suggests, with a glass of crisp white wine.  The perfect summer dinner!

Yields 2 small pizzas

 

Would go great with:

Comments

11 Responses to “Zucchini Pizza with Homemade Lemon Herb Tofu “Cheese” and GF Crust”
  1. Brittany says:

    i waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant!!!!

  2. Iisa says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been searching for a perfect crispy gluten-free pizza crust since my own attempts have been more or less failures to this day. This might just be the answer for me. I’m gonna give it a try soon. 🙂

    • jacqueline says:

      if you like crispy definitely turn the heat up to 500F and don’t cook more than 10 minutes. i had this crust again last night and it was great! you can even make a large batch ahead of time, portion them out into tupperwares and save them a few weeks.

  3. This post is just amazing! I can’t stop drooling over those pictures, they really are beautiful. I love the way this sounds, especially the tofu goat cheese and the crispy gluten free crust. This pizza is such a showstopper, I would love to make it for friends!

  4. Linda says:

    Looks like a great recipe. Do you use powdered or flaked agar agar?

  5. Lourdes says:

    The secret “IS” the vegan parmesan.
    Everything tastes better with the grated Vegan Parmesan on it, I put it on everything.
    You can also use nutritional yeast…also has a great flavor.

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