Gluten Free Chickpea Pizza

I had a version of this dish in college while I was living in Arizona and loved it. And with an emergence in gluten free eating, whether self-imposed or doctor mandated, it made sense to bring out this recipe. What exactly is gluten, and what is a gluten-free diet? Gluten is a protein that exists in wheat, barley, and some other carbohydrates that (in cooking) affects the consistency of wheat products. In baking and pastry classes, we were always instructed to knead the dough as little as possible to prevent gluten development. The proper amount of gluten makes products spongy and light. Excess gluten in dough makes for one tough cookie- or bread loaf, or muffin batter 🙂 . People who have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance often need to refrain from eating gluten all together. This means no muffins, bagels, cereals, cakes, breads, or any sort of baked goods. Sounds rough, unless you come up with gluten-free alternatives. This pizza alternative is addicting and so darn good I’ve already made it twice. 

My mom and I both made this recipe last week. She followed the directions and used a cast iron skillet. Because of our constant traveling, cast iron doesn’t make the packing list- I used a regular, oven safe saute pan. What resulted from the two versions were two unique results. My mom’s cast iron version pan made a crunchy crust while my saute pan version made a softer, chewy crust. I’d say make it in the pan that suits your crust desires. Make it as an appetizer, a side dish, or even as an entree. The toppings are just a suggestion and the options are limitless. 

Makes: 2, 9 ” pizzas in a saute pan or 1 large pizza in a cast iron skillet
Idle Time: 30 minutes     Bake Time: 20 minutes      Total Time: 50 minutes

2 cups chickpea flour
1 tsp salt
3 cups water
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, cut into thin slices
1 large white onion
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tbs freshly chopped basil

  • Put the chickpea flour and salt in a medium size bowl and slowly whisk in the water. Whisk together well so that the flour is not on the bottom and begins to absorb. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the 1/4 cup olive oil into the cast iron pan (or divide among two saute pans) and put the pans in the oven to get them hot.
  • While the dough is resting, cut the ends off the onion and cut in half vertically. Cut into long, thin slices.
  • Heat a large saute pan and begin to caramelize the onions over medium-high heat with 1 tbs olive oil. Continue to stir so that they cook evenly. Add 1 tsp dried oregano and some freshly cracked salt and pepper to the onions. Cook until they are softened and translucent.
  • When the dough has finished resting, stir in the fresh rosemary and remaining dried oregano. The chickpea batter is very liquidy. Don’t worry, that is how it is supposed to be!
  • Carefully remove the pan or pans from the oven. Place on a countertop and pour the batter into the pan(s). It should crackle because of the hot oil.
  • Immediately put back in the oven and cook for ten minutes.
  • After ten minutes, remove from the oven and add the onion, tomato slices, and Parmesan cheese in that order. Put back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes. The cheese should be melty on top and the crust should start to pull away from the sides when it’s finished cooking.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before removing from the pan. Sprinkle with fresh basil. Use a spatula to cut slice or cut into small pieces to be served as an appetizer.


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