Spring Baked Pear and Prosciutto Pizza (Gluten Free, Paleo, Whole30)

I'm very excited to be apart of this Vanity Virtual Potluck hosted by Piquant Marketing! Several ideas when through my head about what I should make to showcase the style of food I love to cook and of course what in-season ingredients I could include. Lately I've been craving pizza and with all of the colourful spring vegetables becoming available I thought that those two things could pair up nicely.

I have to be honest since I was creating this recipe to be apart of a virtual event with mostly vegetarian and vegan participants, I was hesitant to make something that wasn't completely plant based. But then I got thinking that in everything I do, I need to remember to stay authentic and show people what I truly believe in and live for. So I stuck to my guns and made an almost fully plant based pizza with a little salty prosciutto and egg. 

This time of year we are lucky to have asparagus back in the markets, that thankfully isn't grown and shipped all the way from Mexico. Asparagus has never tasted as good as when ribboned and baked on top of a thin crust pizza, along with shaved fennel, thinly sliced pear, shitaki mushrooms, sunflower seed pesto and then drizzled with truffle oil. Oh my, I'm not kidding so so good!

I've tried several recipes for a grain free paleo pizza crust in the past but I think I finally nailed it! The base of this crust is primarily ground flaxseed, along with cauliflower pulp, a little almond meal and eggs. Of course it can't compare to the consistency of a regular flour dough but you'll be surprised at how much elasticity and hold this crust actually has. 

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Pro Tip: Lately the cost of organic cauliflower has been through the roof, so a little trick to buying at a lesser cost is to look for organic frozen cauliflower florets. They will work just fine and you could save yourself a few bucks!

You'll Need:

  • Unbleached parchment paper (I use If You Care's chemical free paper)
  • Baking sheet
  • Food processor
  • Soup pot
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Hand held mixer
  • Spatula
  • Cheese cloth or nut milk bag

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 2 cups fresh cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup ground flax seeds
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 1/3 cup olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • rosemary, thyme, garlic powder to season (optional)

Flatbread Toppings:

  • Spread'Em Cilantro Sunflower Seed & Garlic Pesto
  • 3 sprigs of asparagus, ribboned (I used a potato peeler)
  • 1 small pear, thinly sliced
  • Small amount of shaved fennel (I used mandolin)
  • Shitaki mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • Handful of pea shoots
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

2. Cut cauliflower into florets and transfer to food processor. Pulse until rice-like consistency.

2. Measure 2 cups riced cauliflower and transfer into soup pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.

3. Using a nut milk bag or very fine mesh cheese cloth and strain off liquid. Be careful it's hot!

4. Allow the cauliflower to cool down or set in freezer to speed up process.

5. Combine the eggs and oil in a mixing bowl. Using hand held mixer blend the eggs and oil until frothy.

6. Add ground flax, almond meal, nutritional yeast, baking powder, salt, optional seasonings and cooled and strained cauliflower to mixing bowl.

7. Using a spatula mix the ingredients thoroughly until a doughy ball forms.

8. Transfer dough to parchment paper and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment. Use a pin-roller or improvise with a wine bottle to roll out and even the mixture - ensuring it is approximately 1/2 inch thick throughout. 

9. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. You should notice that the dough is now holding together nicely. Remove and set aside.

10. Once crust has cooled slighly, top with either homemade or store bought pesto. I used this cilantro sunflower seed and garlic pesto by Spream'Em, they are an environmental and sustainability conscious Canadian company that uses all non-GMO ingredients and makes killer cashew spreads as well as this pesto!

11. Prepare all of your toppings and dress the pizza however you like - save pea shoots and fennel fronds for when the pizza is done baking. Finish with a drizzle of truffle oil, Himalayan salt and cracked pepper.

12. Put pizza back in oven at 200 degrees Celsius for another 5-10 minutes. I finished mine under the broiler for a quick minute before taking it out.

13. While pizza is back in the oven combine tahini, fresh lemon juice and splash of water in a small blender jar or with a handheld blender until light and runny.

14. Once pizza is completely finished baking, drizzle with tahini dressing, top with fennel fronds and pea shoots. Now enjoy!

Thank you again for Piquant Marketing for hosting this fun event! I love being involved with events like this and am always a fan of any efforts to promote locals doing great things! You can use the hashtag #VancityVirtualPotluck to check out all of the fantastic additions from other bloggers and health nuts alike.