Zucchini “canoes” substitute for pizza crusts. Photo courtesy Lucero Olive Oil.
It’s not the toppings that are the problem with eating pizza frequently. The crust is where the ne’er-do-well carbs reside.
The late, lamented Goldberg’s Pizza in Manhattan offered a diet pizza by heaping the toppings into an aluminum pie plate instead of onto a carb-laden crust.
All of the vegetable toppings (bell peppers, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, onions—whatever you like) were added to the pie plate, covered with sauce and cheese and baked in the oven.
It was a way for dieters (of whom proprietor Larry Goldberg was one) to enjoy the flavors of pizza without the empty carbs.
Zucchini pizza is a modern take on the idea. In this recipe from Lucero Olive Oil, halves of zucchini serve as the base for the cheese, tomatoes and other toppings.
Zucchini pizza is not only more nutritious; it’s a way to get family members to eat more vegetables, more often.
ZUCCHINI CANOES, A PIZZA ALTERNATIVE
1. CUT. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Trim as necessary so they fit into a glass baking dish.
2. SCOOP. Using a teaspoon, grapefruit spoon or melon baller, scoop out the center core where the seeds are to create a shallow trench. Do not scoop all the way to the bottom. (You can save the zucchini you’ve scooped out and add it to scrambled eggs.)
3. COMBINE. Combine the crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper/chili flakes. Brush the surface of the zucchini with mixture.
4. BAKE. Halve the grape tomatoes and arrange them inside the trench with the optional pepperoni. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes.
5. ADD. Remove the zucchini from the oven and place diced mozzarella in the trench between the tomatoes.
6. BROIL. Place the baking dish under the broiler until golden and bubbling.
7. GARNISH. Remove and drizzle the zucchini lightly with basil olive oil. Top with fresh basil and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan.
Find gourmet pizza recipes—with the crust.
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