Yucca Pizza Crust
I love pizza! Who doesn't? Thin crust and gluten-free too? Even better. Made entirely out of yucca? AMAZING. I first learned about yucca pizza crust in Costa Rica on a yoga retreat that I went on back in July. The retreat was inclusive of all healthy gourmet meals. One of the activities I signed up for during my stay was a cooking class with the retreat's chef. He taught us about the versatility of yucca. He had used it in our meals as croutons, gnocchi, and mash. I was so amazed because it had never occurred to me before to use yucca as a healthy substitute in meals.
After returning from Costa Rica and playing around with yucca, I created my own yucca pizza crust recipe. It tastes better and works better as a pizza crust than the popular cauliflower pizza crust alternative. Cauliflower pizza crust, in my experience, is too cakey and falls apart when you try to pick up a slice. Yucca pizza crust does not require a binding ingredient and you can actually pick up a slice! Sounds simple, huh? Give it a try!
Yucca Pizza Crust (Serves 2. Makes about 2 nine-inch diameter pizza crusts)
· 2lb yucca
· 2 tsp dried oregano
· 1 tsp dried basil
· 1 tsp salt
· 4 tbsp olive oil
· 6 tbsp tomato sauce
· 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced (or halved cherry tomatoes)
· 10 mini mozzarella balls, halved
· ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
· pesto (optional)
· fresh ground pepper
· red pepper flakes
Peel yucca, cut into large segments to fit into a pot of water (make sure there is enough water to cover yucca), and boil for about 45 minutes. Allow yucca to cool for about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cut up yucca into smaller chunks. Place in a bowl. Add oregano, basil, salt, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Mix thoroughly and then throw into a blender or a food processor to convert the yucca into more of a mash. It’s okay if there are still small clumps of yucca in your mix.
Pour yucca mix back into the bowl. Add 2 more tbsp of olive oil and massage into the mix with your hands. Divide the mixture into 2 portions. Using a baking sheet and parchment paper, roll into 2 round pizza crusts, about 9 inch in diameter, with your hands. Flatten out as much as you can so that the crust is thin.
Pre-bake in the oven for 15 minutes on each side. Your crust should be lightly browned on both sides. Add about 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce on each pizza. Top with about 4 tomato slices and 5 halved mini mozzarella balls on each pizza. You can use other ingredients but be careful about adding too many toppings. The crust is thin and will fall apart if it is weighed down by too many toppings. Return crust to oven and cook for about another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle fresh basil on top. Then return to oven and broil for about 5 minutes to give the toppings a nice crisp. Oven times may vary so you may need to adjust the time.
Sprinkle with additional fresh basil. Serve with pesto drizzle, red pepper flakes, and ground pepper.