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Published May 12, 2010, 12:00 AM

Halgrimson: Delicious, gluten-free pizza

When I wrote about socca, that lovely Provençal treat made from chickpeas, I said I would add a recipe for Socca Pizza designed for people who must follow a gluten-free diet. Other additions may be made to satisfy those who like pepperoni or sausage on pizza.

By: Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, INFORUM

When I wrote about socca, that lovely Provençal treat made from chickpeas, I said I would add a recipe for Socca Pizza designed for people who must follow a gluten-free diet. Other additions may be made to satisfy those who like pepperoni or sausage on pizza.

My pizza pans have little holes all over the bottom, which is appropriate for bread dough but not for something as drippy as batter, so I used a 15-by-10-by-3/4-inch baking pan.

Chickpea flour, also called garbanzo flour, is available at health food stores and some supermarkets.

Be sure to use the fresh, white balls of mozzarella and not the yellowish kind that comes in hard chunks.

Socca Pizza

Socca Crust

2 cups chickpea flour

2 cups lukewarm water

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 tablespoons good olive oil, plus some for brushing on pan and on top of cooked pizza

Additions

Tomato sauce

Chopped Greek olives

Caramelized onions

Fresh basil

Chopped fresh spinach

Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Mix chickpea flour, water, salt, pepper and oil, beating until smooth. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream. Cover batter and let it rest at room temperature for at least an hour.

While batter sets, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a pizza pan in the oven and allow pan to heat for about 20 minutes. Carefully remove pan from oven, oil it, and return to 425-degree oven for 2 to 3 minutes.

Again remove pan from oven. Very carefully, pour batter into pan and return to oven. Batter will be quite liquid. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes until firm. Lightly brush baked crust with olive oil.

Top with tomato sauce, chopped Greek olives, caramelized onions, fresh basil, chopped fresh spinach and mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Move pizza pan to top rack, turn oven temperature to broil, and continue to cook about 4 minutes until done.

Cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tomato Sauce

7 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

3 1/2 cups peeled, mashed tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a heavy pan, add garlic and fry gently for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Caramelized Onions

1 medium-size onion, chopped

2 tablespoons good olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Cook onion in oil over medium-low heat until it softens and begins to turn brown, about 30-40 minutes. At the end of the cooking period, add balsamic vinegar and stir it in.


Readers can reach Forum columnist Andrea Hunter Halgrimson at ahalgrimson@forumcomm.com

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