Remember that restaurant visit that left me wanting to re-create a dish so badly I nearly stopped on the way home for ingredients? If not, I’ll recap. It went something like this:
Stalking the menu online days in advance to decide what I wanted (chicken-artichoke grape skewers and Greek pizza were just two of many.)
Arriving at the restaurant and pretending to read the menu while convincing Ben that he wanted everything I had already secretly picked out.
Not-so-patiently awaiting those chicken-artichoke-grape skewers, only to be disappointed at first site, and even more by first bite. Cold and unseasoned, they just weren’t done…. right.
Fortunately, things only got better. And I walked away from dinner with not one, but two dishes I knew I’d be making at home, sooner rather than later. You (hopefully) already read about my take on the Chicken Artichoke Grape Skewers with Tarragon-Yogurt Sauce, and up above I hinted at the second. Greek Pizza.
This wasn’t just any Greek pizza. I’m not sure if there’s a “typical” Greek pizza but I’ve seen various pizza joints throw Greek-inspired ingredients on a crust and they usually include tomatoes, spinach, feta. Maybe some artichokes and olives. But dates, and almonds, and fresh, summer-y herb green sauce? Never.
‘Till now. I don’t know what they’ve been waiting for.
The combination was, simply put, fantastic. Each bite was approached with hesitation because I never wanted the pizza to be gone. And with each bite, something different stood out, whether it was the sweet dried fruit or crisp almonds, brine-y olives and sharp green herbs, or the tangy feta that hugged these (perhaps) seemingly incompatible ingredients together.
The only thing I could imagine making these even better was a chickpea flour pizza crust. Not the popular socca making their way around the foodie blog world, but an actual, legit, baked-in-the-oven chickpea flour pizza dough as I had seen on A Cambridge Story. Of course, I was intrigued by the idea of a pizza crust made from a healthier flour, higher in fiber and protein than traditional white or wheat. But even more, I was dying to know how it tasted. I imagined the crust to be hearty and nutty, and not unlike a slab of baked hummus, if one could imagine that. Naturally, it would need the right toppings to really shine, so I filed it away in the back of my mind until the right combination came around. When I first tasted the explosion of Mediterranean flavors in that sexy “Greek” pizza, I was 99% sure I had found it.
And when I took my first bite, chickpea crust and all, 99 easily became 100.
Chickpea Flour Pizza Crust
Adapted From A Cambridge Story
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten*
1 teaspoon salt
Stir the yeast into the warm water and let stand for 10 minutes, or until foamy.
Combine the chickpea flour, vital wheat gluten, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer; stir to combine. Add the yeast mixture and mix with the dough hook, until thoroughly combined. Spray a bowl with cooking spray and turn the dough into the bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450ºF, or turn on grill to high heat. Tear off a large rectangle of parchment paper and place it onto a work surface. Turn the dough onto the paper, flatten slightly, and cover with a second sheet of parchment. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough to even thickness, the size of a large pizza stone or baking sheet. Remove the top sheet of paper, and carefully slide the bottom piece, with the crust, onto pizza stone or baking sheet. Top with desired toppings, and place in the oven or on the grill for about 20 minutes, until crisp.
*The original recipe did not call for vital wheat gluten; I added it to attempt a chewier, doughy-er texture. Emily’s version looks perfectly delicious as well, and I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes. Next time I make this pizza dough I will omit it to find out. In the meantime, feel free to follow Emily’s lead if you don’t have vital wheat gluten or wish to make a gluten-free crust.
Nutrition Facts (entire pizza dough)
Total Fat 12.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 2,355.5 mg
Potassium 0.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 114.0 g
Dietary Fiber 31.0 g
Sugars 18.0 g
Protein 47.0 g
Mediterranean Date & Olive Pizza on a Chickpea Crust
1 recipe chickpea flour pizza dough
1/2 cup (30gm) basil leaves
1/2 cup (30gm) parsley
1 large clove of garlic
1 large tomato, diced (1 cup)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 oz grated pecorino romano cheese
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (1 oz) sliced almonds
80 gm pitted dates, quartered
45gm pitted kalamata olives
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Combine basil, parsley, garlic, tomato, lemon juice, and pecorino romano cheese in a food processor or blender. Process until fully combined. Season to taste with pepper.
Spoon the sauce onto the crust (you may not need all of it) and spread evenly. Top with the almonds, dates, olives and feta. Bake in a preheated 450ºF oven for about 20 minutes, until the crust is crisp and topping is lightly browned. Slice and serve.
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 7.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 11.0 mg
Sodium 488.2 mg
Potassium 186.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.5 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 9.8 g
Protein 9.3 g