Springtime Salad Pizza with a Chickpea Crust
Bursting with vibrant spring flavors, from the green pea pesto to the ribboned asparagus, this gluten-free chickpea crust pizza manages to be both light and indulgent.
vitality • main dish • SPRING
Several years ago now, my friend Lauren introduced me to salad pizza and my life has never been the same since.
The idea is that pizza does not have be confined to an oozy mess of melted cheese and grease. It can also be a rather delicious delivery vehicle for loads of seasonal fresh vegetables; a.k.a. salad. Talk about paradigm shifting.
Pizza = Salad = Mind is Blown.
I’ll just come clean and tell you right now that as much as I know they are good for me, and as much as I do enjoy preparing and eating them, I will never feel as excited about the idea of a salad as I do about the idea of pizza. In the contest of pizza vs. salad for the grand prize of my appetite, pizza will win every time.
But, combine the two together? Now you’re talking. Because that’s the dream, ins’t it? To eat food that tastes indulgently delicious, 100% satisfying AND that also makes you feel amazing
When you can look down at your plate and the ‘give me pizza’ part of your brain lights up at the exact same moment as the ‘look at all those beautiful, vibrant, vegetables’ part, it’s like winning the jackpot. Alarm bells go off. Streamers unfurl. There is no going back.
But I digress. Let’s talk about this salad pizza already.
The base is essentially a chickpea pancake with light, crispy edges and a deeply savory, almost buttery flavor that will leave you licking your fingertips.
On top of this is spread a generous layer of the pea pesto; essentially a puree of peas, Manchego cheese, lemon and fresh mint that tastes exactly as if you bit into a slice of spring.
Finally, the salad; baby spinach (or you could use arugula or any green of your choice), delicate ribbons of tender asparagus, creamy mozzarella and the salty tang of feta cheese.
This is a feast for your eyes as well as your soul. Push back your chair at the end and tell me you don’t feel like a new person.
Springtime salad pizza with a chickpea crust
Prep Time 30 min • Cook Time 10 min • Total Time 40 min
For the crust:
2 cups (250 g) chickpea flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp onion or garlic powder
1.5 cups (350 g) water
2 tbsp olive oil
For the pesto:
10 oz (283 g) fresh or thawed frozen peas
1/3 cup (30 g) grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese
zest and juice of 1 lemon
small bunch of fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
1 tsp salt
For the salad topping:
handful asparagus (about 10 stalks; fatter stalks are best here)
1/2 cup (50 g) baby spinach (about 2 handfuls)
4 oz (100 g) fresh mozzarella
1 oz (30 g) feta cheese
fresh mint and basil leaves to garnish
Combine the dry chickpea crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and then add the water, whisking to create a completely smooth batter. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
While your chickpea batter is resting, make the pesto. Combine all of the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and pulse until you have formed rough puree. Check for seasonings and set aside while you prep your asparagus.
To prep your asparagus, start by slicing the tips off all of spears about 2 inches from the top (so that you have 2 inch long tip pieces). Now, slice the tips in half lengthwise and set these aside. To ribbon the remaining stalks, you'll want to first remove the woody bases. Discard these. Now, using a vegetable peeler (the Y type works best), hold the base of the stalk down with one hand and peel along the length of the stalk with your other hand to produce a lovely thin ribbon. For more info this is a good overview. You can also use a mandolin if you have one.
Now it's time to make your crust. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, portion half of the batter into the pan, spreading it into a nice circle about 6 inches in diameter. Cook until the edges begin to firm up and dry out (about 4-5 minutes), and then flip and cook the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until you've achieved nice golden brown color.Repeat with the remaining batter to make your second crust.
To assemble, layer a generous amount of the pea pesto over the base of each crust, leaving a little room around the edges. Arrange your baby spinach leaves, asparagus tips and ribbons over the top of the pesto. Top this with generous helping of mozzarella and a sprinkling of feta cheese. Finally, garnish with a final sprinkling of pepper and a few fresh basil and mint leaves to garnish.
For a colder spring day, you can also heat the pizza to melt the cheese and make for a more traditional pizza experience. In this case, leave the asparagus and fresh mint and basil off and pop the pizzas into a 375 degree F oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned. Just before eating, top with the asparagus and the fresh herbs.
Tried this recipe?
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