Pizza is one of my favorite foods. However, I seem to constantly try and eat healthy and pizza definitely does not help with the weight loss. I have tried the cauliflower pizza base and as much as I love it, I find it to be quite time consuming to prepare. I saw a photo of sliced zucchini with Parmesan cheese on top of it one day and thought, "hey, that looks like it could be used as a pizza base". So I gave it a try, as I do like to be inventive with food, and fell in love- not just with the taste, but also with the ease and minimum preparation time. Of course, the photos went up on Facebook and all the questions of how I made it came in so here we go folks:. Ask and you shall receive. When necessary, click on the photos for descriptions.
Things you will need:
-Zucchini/Courgette (the amount depends on how many you want to feed and how big the zucchini is. If it is a big fat one, for lack of better description, I tend to use half of the whole zucchini per person. If it is relatively small, then one whole one per person should do.)
- Olive oil
- Crushed tomatoes (aka Tomato Passata, pureed or sieved tomatoes in the UK ), or plain 'ol pizza sauce
- Dried or fresh mixed herbs or oregano (this ingredient is key to giving it a pizza flavor)
- Your favorite pizza toppings (tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, onions, feta, cheese, olives, pineapple etc)
Steps (see photos for assistance):
1. Cut the zucchini in half. This makes it easier to slice as you will have a flat surface to stand it on for slicing. Also, it is easier to serve half a slice of zucchini as if the slices are the length of a whole large zucchini, they may end up being longer than the plate. If you have long/oval platter style plates, then feel free to leave it long.
2. Slice the zucchini in strips, roughly a 5mm thickness. Try and make all the slices the same thickness. When getting near the end of the zucchini, it may be easier (and safer) to place it down on the cutting surface and slice it that way (see photos)
3. Place zucchini slices in a lightly greased ovenproof dish/pan. Place about a teaspoon size amount of the tomato/pizza sauce on each slice. The amount of sauce depends on the area of the slice that needs covering and how much you really like tomato sauce. Use the curved bottom of the spoon to spread the sauce on the slice of zucchini.
4. Sprinkle dried or fresh mixed herbs or oregano on top of the sauce. I like to use a lot of this as I find it gives it a real pizza flavor.
5. Add cheese on top of the sauce. I find that adding cheese allows for the pizza toppings to stick to it so that they don't all fall off when eating. I have tried this recipe with both cheddar cheese AND mozzarella and both are good. Mozzarella tends to be a little bit lighter than cheddar cheese and also more authentic. You can easily find mozzarella balls in a grocery store and just slice them into small pieces to place on the zucchini slices (or just use grate mozzarella as well). The mozzarella melts quite nicely. I have also tried it with adding the cheese on top of the pizza toppings but the toppings don't stay on so well then.
6. Now, on top of the cheese, place your toppings. The surface area is not very large so you may want to put a couple toppings on each slice, or cut your toppings very small if you want a lot of flavors on there. You could also do one topping per slice and have a different topping on each slice. This is entirely up to you and your personal preference. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top of each slice.
7. Place in a preheated oven. About 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 170 degrees Celsius in a fan assisted oven). Allow to cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the toppings are cooked to your liking. You don't really need to worry about overcooking. Check back after about 10 minutes to see how it is coming along and if the toppings are cooked to your liking.
8. When it looks like it is done to your liking, take the dish out of the oven and use a flat spatula to transfer the zucchini slices onto a plate. Now you are ready to devour this relatively healthy and gluten free alternative to pizza! Bon Appetit!
- Cooking it in this way makes the zucchini just slightly cooked and crunchy. If you prefer it to be more well done and crispy, then grill the zucchini slices to your liking prior to placing the sauce and toppings on top.
- I find the easiest way to enjoy this dish is to eat it with a fork and knife. It doesn't have the ease that pizza does of eating it with your hands.
- Zucchini and Courgette are two of my least favorite words to spell correctly. Why do both terms for this vegetable need to be so foreign and complicated?!
Hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you try it out, let me know how you like it! Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.
Happy Cooking and Enjoy!