Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Very Veggie Pesach 2016: Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!


Pizza: the food that people long for the most during Passover, the first thing that many people eat as soon as Passover ends. But what if there was a pizza we could have during Passover? This year I offer you four different kosher-for-Passover pizza recipes. These are not vegan (all have cheese on top and most require egg to hold the crust together), but one of them is gluten-free and two more could be made gluten-free with a substitution. Best of all: the common vegetable toppings for pizza are all kosher-for-Passover vegetables: onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives, broccoli and pineapple!

I haven't been able to make these crusts sturdy enough to eat with your hands as you normally eat pizza. You will need a fork and knife, or more cooking skill than I have! A friend suggested using a 12-inch cast iron pan to cook the crust and pizza in, making a pan pizza, which sounds like an interesting idea.

I offer you:

But first, some notes about getting kosher-for-Passover ingredients for all of them...



Kashrut Notes

  • Miller's Cheese sells shredded mozzarella in 8 oz (half pound; 2 cups) bags, which is kosher for Passover. Les Petites Fermieres also makes an excellent kosher-for-Passover Chef's Pizza Blend cheese that combines shredded mozzarella and cheddar. I have found both at Wegmans grocery stores.
  • Tomato sauce requires Passover certification. Gefen makes some very good kosher-for-Passover pizza sauces, if you can find them. If not, Manischewitz or Rokeach tomato sauces in a can are fine and more widely available.
  • Star K's website confirms that fresh supermarket produce is not a Passover problem, which covers the potato and onion for Latke Pizza, the cauliflower for Cauliflower Pizza and the zucchini for Zucchini Pizza. It also covers the garlic, fresh herbs, and most of the toppings you would want. Note that if you are buying dried herbs or olives or pineapple canned, bottled or pre-cut, that will require KFP certification; this rule only covers fresh, unprocessed produce.
  • Eggs are kosher for Passover without special supervision, but must be purchased before the holiday if they are not marked as kosher for Passover
  • Potato starch requires KFP certification. Manischewitz and Gefen make a kosher-for-Passover potato starch that is available in better Passover aisles.  It is also available on Amazon.com, but only in packs of four.
  • Iodized salt is not kosher for Passover! Star-K's Passover Guide says that non-iodized salts that do not contain dextrose or polysorbates may be used, but ideally you should try to find salt with Passover certification or just skip the salt.
  • Spices are not kosher for Passover without certification, and certified spices are hard to find.  You can skip the pepper if you can't find certified black pepper in your Passover section.
  • Oil for greasing the cooking surface: The OU website confirms that extra virgin olive oil is kosher for Passover with their year-round certification without special Passover certification. Some brands have Passover certification all year round. Other kinds of oil need Passover certification.
  • Make sure your matzah or matzah meal are marked Kosher for Passover. Believe it or not, sometimes matzah products are made for year round use and are not kosher for Passover! The label is very clear in saying that it's not KFP if it's not.

Matzah Pizza


Is there any Jewish child who hasn't self-invented this recipe already? Take a piece of matzah, cover it lightly with tomato sauce (not too close to the edge), cover that with shredded cheese (not too close to the edges), heat it until the cheese is melted. A quick and easy personal pizza.

Latke Pizza


This recipe uses the ingredients of a traditional Chanukkah latke to make the pizza crust, though I wouldn't recommend trying to deep fry it. I tried that once and it was hard to deep fry a latke the size of a pizza. Just bake it to make the crust (or if you really want to deep fry, make very small personal pizzas).

Note that the potato starch substitution suggested below doesn't usually work for Chanukkah latkes, because potato starch is too delicate to hold the latke together for deep frying, but that's not an issue in this recipe so it would probably work to make this recipe gluten-free.

Crust Ingredients

  • 4 medium potatoes, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup matzah meal or potato starch
  • salt and pepper to taste
See Preparation instructions below.

Cauliflower Pizza


Cauliflower pizza is a very trendy option for carb-conscious and gluten-free eaters today. Most of the recipes I've seen tell you to cook the cauliflower and then drain it and squeeze out the liquid, but some comments to the recipes say that cooking is unnecessary, while other comments say that the pizza falls apart (apparently because the liquid was not sufficiently drained). I tried this without pre-cooking and it worked just fine.

Crust Ingredients

    • 2 pounds of cauliflower florets (not the stem), riced (run it through a food processor or a cheese grater to break it down to small, rice-like pieces)
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
    • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, pressed
    • salt and pepper to taste
    See Preparation instructions below.

    Zucchini Pizza


    This is another option I've seen for carb-conscious, gluten-free eaters, and I leaped on it because zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables (you may have noticed that in my other Passover recipes).

    • 3 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 zucchini) -- press out as much liquid as you can; zucchini is a very moist vegetable
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1/4 cup matzah meal or potato starch
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan
    • tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped
    • a few leaves of fresh rosemary, chopped
    • clove of garlic, pressed

    See Preparation instructions below.

    Preparation

    • Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees (note: this is a higher temperature than you normally cook at).
    • Mix the crust ingredients well.
    • Grease the cooking surface
    • Spread the batter out into a large circle (12 inches or more) or square (for Sicilian-style) on a greased cooking surface.
    • Cook ]until the crust begins to brown (10-20 minutes, depending on the ingredients)
    • Take the crust out of the oven
    • Cover crust with about a cup of tomato sauce (not too close to the edge)
    • Cover sauce with about two cups of shredded mozzarella or pizza cheese combination
    • Put back in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly or browning
    • Cool a little bit before cutting and serving

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