Margherita Pizza with Quinoa Crust

Serves 1

Ingredients

For the quinoa crust

  • 150g quinoa
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Pinch sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 125g tub buffalo mozzarella, drained and sliced
  • 1 large vine tomato, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. The night before you want to make the pizza, place the quinoa in a large bowl and cover with 3cm cold water. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Next day, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Drain the quinoa well, rinse thoroughly under cold water and drain off any excess water. Transfer the quinoa to a food processor with the salt, baking powder, oil, water and parsley, processing on high for 3-4 minutes and regularly scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Process until the mixture is very well blended and almost smooth, resembling a thick batter.
  3. Line the pizza crisper with baking parchment. Transfer the quinoa mix onto the paper and spread it into a 23cm circle with a spatula or palette knife. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until firm and lightly coloured.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the shallot and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar and seasoning, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Blend with a stick blender until smooth.
  5. Spread the cooked pizza base with half the tomato sauce right to the edges. Top with the sliced mozzarella and tomato, scatter over the basil and Parmesan, season generously and drizzle a little olive oil over the top.
  6. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes or until piping hot with melted cheese and nicely browned edges. Cut into slices and serve immediately.

Cook’s note: The quinoa needs soaking for at least 8 hours. If you don’t have time to soak it overnight, this could be done in the morning, ready for making the pizza in the evening. it’s fine to soak the quinoa for longer. This recipe makes more tomato sauce than you need. The leftover sauce can be used to top another pizza, stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or frozen for later.

Tip: Ring the changes by topping this pizza with slices of Parma ham and a scattering of rocket leaves, instead of the basil, before baking. For a tasty peperonata and goat’s cheese topping, swap the mozzarella for slices of goat’s cheese, and scatter sliced red and yellow peppers and thinly sliced red onions on top before baking.