I was inspired to make a courgette pizza base I found at the thekitchensgarden and than I liked it so much I made it again and took pictures. Today Martin, the farmer I buy courgettes from, asked me for the recipe, so I thought I’d better post it here.
Courgette Pizza base recipe (makes two 8 inch pizzas):
2 medium sized courgettes, about 1lb in weight (should be about 2 cups grated)
2 free range eggs (beaten)
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of good cheddar
salt and pepper
I couldn’t find my cup measures (perhaps I left them in America many years ago), so I used a glass pint jug – measuring half a pint to one cup (it worked well).
Grate two medium courgettes and put them in a colander to drain – sprinkle on about a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and the juice of a lemon to facilitate this. Allow 10 – 20 minutes for them to expel their water. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 250ºC and beat two eggs in large bowl. When the courgettes have drained, squeeze as much moisture out as you can with your hands. Mix the courgettes into the eggs with a fork. Sprinkle in the flour and keep stirring, add the grated cheddar and mix that in too. This is very simple and no kneading necessary. The mixture will be slightly sticky and not like a regular dough. It will make a large pizza, but I thought it would be nice to vary the toppings, so split it in half. It seemed to be about right for my cast iron frying pan (which is oven proof), so I gave the pan a liberal coating of flour (to stop it sticking) and spread out enough mixture to cover the bottom, using my knuckles and the back of a spoon. Bake the pizza base blind (with no topping) for 15 to 20 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven. When it looks slightly browned as per my top picture, it will make for a good crispy base.
Tomato Sauce recipe (topping for 2 -3 pizzas):
5 medium sized tomatoes (blanched)
6 pieces of garlic (chopped)
8 torn basil leaves
a pinch of crushed chilli
a squirt of tomato purée
a splash of red wine vinegar
a splash of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
This is best prepared before making the pizza base.
Heat some olive oil in a saucepan (if using tinned anchovies on the pizza, use the anchovy olive oil for extra flavour) and fry the garlic for a couple of minutes. Peel the blanched tomatoes and crush them into the oil and garlic with a potato masher. Rip a few fresh basil leaves and stir them into the sauce with a splash of red wine vinegar, a squirt of tomato purée, a pinch of crushed chilli and salt and pepper to taste. If using anchovy oil the sauce will probably be salty enough. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5 – 10 minutes and allow to cool.
When the pizza base is cooked, add a topping of your choice. Above, I spread my tomato sauce on the base first, followed by a few slices of chorizo, slices of mozzarella, a few basil leaves, Kalamata olives, black pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan.
This went back into the oven, on the bottom shelf for 10 – 15 minutes, until it looked done.
I made a second pizza with anchovies canned in olive oil.
I was really impressed by the courgette pizza base, it’s quicker and easier to make than real pizza dough and is suitably crispy. I had no trouble sliding pizzas out of the frying pan, with the aid of a pallete knife.
This is a perfect way to use up the summer glut of tomatoes and courgettes. It’s worth noting that when tomatoes are cooked twice (as opposed to eaten raw or cooked once), they release lots of lycopene which supposedly guards against cancer and lowers cholesterol.
I buy my courgettes and tomatoes (along with almost all other vegetables on a weekly basis) from Perry Court Farm, which has a stall at Islington Farmers’ Market on Sunday mornings. They can also be found at most other London Farmers’ Markets.