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Pizza Day #2: Quinoa

Today on the menu of homemade pizzas is the Quinoa Pizza with Meyer Lemon, Goat Cheese, and Basil
  • For quinoa pizza crust:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • water, for soaking and blending
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil (or another high-heat oil)
  • For toppings:
  • 5-6 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 1 Meyer lemon, very thinly sliced (seeds removed)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • small handful fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts (raw or toasted)
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • coarse sea salt
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  1. For quinoa crust – place quinoa in a medium bowl and cover with water by several inches. Let stand at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drain the presoaked quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse well. Place in a blender with a little water (about ¼ cup), garlic clove, and salt. Puree until smooth. Add more water if needed. The mixture should look like pancake batter and not be too thin or thick, but still pourable.
  3. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet into the hot oven. Allow to heat for 5-10 minutes. Carefully add the 2 Tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat for another 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven carefully. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the hot oil.
  4. Pour the batter into the center of the pan and tilt it to create and even layer on the bottom. Place back into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove pan from oven, turn crust over, and place back in oven for another 10. Remove from oven and transfer the crust to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (At this point you can also place it on a cooling rack and let it cool completely, then prepare the pizza at a later time.)
  5. For toppings – mix the goat cheese with the lemon juice. If the cheese is very crumbly, add a little milk or water to smooth it out. It should be spreadable.
  6. Spread the cheese evenly over the crust. (I removed it from the cast iron skillet and transferred it to a baking sheet.) Layer the Meyer lemons evenly over the cheese.
  7. Place in the 450 degree oven and let bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and turned golden, and the lemons are tender. (For a crispy top, place under the broiler for a few minutes.)
  8. Remove from oven and top with the remaining toppings. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

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