Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Red Pepper, Spinach, Feta and Aspargus Pizza

One thing that struck me today was the fact that I have not yet stated my pizza allegiance. For those of you in the gluten free food blogging realm you know EXACTLY what that means. Dun, dun, dun..

The giant question is: Bob's Red Mill or Namaste? And of course, a homemade crust, but that's for another time.

Chances are that if you are a gluten free blogger, you've been around the block when it comes to trying out products, and pizza crusts are no different. For years, as gluten free products slowly began trickling into existence, there was no pizza crust product on the shelves. Then Namaste foods was born and they introduced all their mixes and more notably, their pizza crust mix.

Namaste's crust was around for a while and received mixed reviews from gluten free people around the country. Some people hate it, some people love it. I am of the latter.

It strikes me as funny that I've never mentioned how much I love Namaste's pizza crust. My family and I tried it out way at the beginning of our gluten free lives and we've never looked back. It just worked. I've never thought to mention it until just now. Namaste, consider yourself mentioned.

I am the "pizza queen" in my house and in my house, I don't think I've ever made a pizza the same way twice. This version is by far the best pizza I have ever made. Basically, any pizza with feta, spinach, and asparagus on it, in any combination, is wicked, WICKED good.

Red Pepper Spinach Feta and Asparagus Pizza

For the crust:
cornmeal - for dusting
olive oil MISTO - for spraying
1 1/2 cups Namaste pizza mix
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp olive oil

For the rest:
sauce of choice - I like Bove's Organic Marinara sauce
baby spinach
garlic powder
onion powder
cayenne powder
sea salt
red pepper flakes
cheese (best if you can get them raw):
feta - a GOOD one, not Fage
asparagus chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
red pepper - diced
half vadalia/sweet onion - diced
meat of choice - I used browned ground beef

To make your pizza:
1. Prepare the Namaste crust. I put all the ingredients into my food processor with the dough blade and whiz into a ball.
2. Roll on to a pizza crisper - these are essential for a good GF pizza crust, dusted with cornmeal and sprayed with Misto. Don't worry, even with the holes on the bottom of the pan there won't be a mess on your counter top. Dough will be 1/4" - 1/8" thick.
3. Bake at 425 for about 8 minutes or until the pizza crust edges start to pull away from the pan and are slightly firm to touch. Remove from the oven and place on pot holder.
4. Spray crust LIGHTLY with Misto and rub in spices into the crust.
5. Spoon out desired amount of sauce and distribute evenly around the crust with the back of a large spoon. I have found that with GF crusts it is better to use less because of the wetness factor.
6. Layer spinach on top of the sauce.
7. Lightly sprinkle mozzarella cheese.
8. Crumble feta on top.
9. Sprinkle toppings evenly over the cheese, adding smaller vegetables first and meat last.
10. Sprinkle with black pepper, lightly with red pepper flakes, and lastly the parmesan cheese - don't be shy here.
11. Pop into the oven for the last time and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Do not over cook or the cheese will begin to burn and gradually turn browner and browner..
12. Remove from oven, slice into 8th's and EAT!

We always do this as a family on friday nights. Mom and I make pizza, the boys anxiously wait, we pop in a Netflix movie and have movie night enjoying yummy pizza and popcorn. Sometimes we have ice cream later. We love love ice cream. Probably more than we do pizza. But pizza is so so good :)

My brother, who is still a wheat eater even loves this pizza. However, if you are looking for a yeasty, bready, pizza crust this is not for you. This pizza has a thin and crispy gluten free pizza crust. I will be experimenting to get a bready gluten free pizza crust in the future.. But for now Namaste is the order of the day.

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