This is my Mediterranean Pumpkin Pizza, it captures the flavors of the Mediterranean plus Fall. Lots of fresh, juicy tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, pumpkin seed pesto, basil on top of a pumpkin flavored quinoa crust.
Its the time of year that I’m enjoying the last of my vegetables from my garden. My tomatoes, cucumbers and basil plants are still producing well and to keep up I try to incorporate as much in recipes. I juice my cucumbers with apple, ginger, parsley, and celery. Daevyd loves to eat a whole cucumber sprinkled with a tiny amount of sea salt, he actually goes out to the garden and picks it himself. Reminds me of when I was young how I loved green mango and green plum sprinkled with salt. I’m still waiting for my figs, ground cherries, bell peppers, purple sweet potatoes to ripen. Having a garden is so important to me, you can never beat the taste of freshly picked organic fruits and vegetables.
For this pizza I decided to make the crust with quinoa flour, it turned out pretty good, the quinoa was processed using a high speed blender. Doing it yourself is pretty easy, even if you don’t have a high speed blender. Measure out the amount of quinoa, blend in a regular blender in small batches. Sift with a fine mesh strainer and re-blend the remaining flour that didn’t go through the strainer until you get the desired texture. To store quinoa flour, place into a freezer container with a tight fitting lid in the freezer. Store in freezer until needed, remove the specific amount and thaw before use. I used pumpkin puree to give a pretty moist crust. For the pesto I used raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas), with kale and basil. Its better to soak pumpkin seeds overnight to allow the seeds to begin sprouting and increase digestibility. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium and zinc, they are also great for expelling parasites from the body.
For the Crust:
- 1 ½ cups quinoa flour
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds (yellow)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
For the Pesto
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup kale leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in slices
- 1/4 cup black olives, halved
- 1/4 cup basil leaves for garnish
Preheat oven 400ºF. Light grease parchment lined baking sheet and set aside. In a large bowl add, quinoa flour, flax seeds, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt, whisk to fully combine. Stir in pumpkin puree and form into a dough. Transfer dough to baking sheet and press to about 8-inch circle, leaving edges thicker. Bake for 20 minutes.
In the meanwhile prepare pesto, add pumpkin seeds, basil, kale, olive oil, lemon juice, yeast flakes, garlic, sea salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Stop and open the lid of the food processor and scrape down the sides with a spatula and continue processing until desired texture is reached.
Remove from oven, spread pesto on top, then top with vegetables and brush with olive oil. Bake for additional 10 minutes. Toss with basil leaves, then cut in wedges using a pizza cutter and serve.
Substitute the quinoa flour with brown rice flour. You can make your own brown rice flour with a blender and a strainer.
The benefits of making your own gluten free flours are:
- Reduce cross-contamination.
- Less expensive than store-bought flours.
- Ensure you get a fresher product.
Feel free to use whatever toppings you prefer, you may substitute the pesto sauce for your favorite pizza sauce and add veggies with vegan cheese. So yummy! What are your favorite vegan toppings? Comment below, I sure would love to hear from you!