A word about “pizza”. You know those things that your mom made you eat as a child that were just short of a scarring experience? In our house it was Montana Stew which was comprised of ground beef, kidney beans, canned tomatoes and spaghetti. You’d think the flavors might meld together to create a magical childhood memory, but honestly, it just made me want to scrape my tongue. I tend to think it was my mom’s answer to cheaply feeding 9 kids crammed into a cabin for two weeks of fly-fishing every summer. To this day, we give her a hard time about it.
But now the shoe’s on the other foot and I’m quite certain that my son’s “Montana Stew” will be the most bastardized form of “pizza” known to man. Before I found these rice tortillas (and Conte’s frozen pizza, let’s be honest), he suffered through a slice of toasted rice bread, slathered with a squirt of catsup, topped with grated cheese. I got away with it for years, too, shoving it in the toaster oven, softening the bread so he wouldn’t chip a tooth. Honestly, you could play hockey with some of that stuff.
So like all mothers, I’m hoping his childhood memory is selective and that he’ll love me for the thin crust pizzas I make him now because pizza is one of those quintessential comfort foods. If you rearrange your thoughts and expectations a bit and try this “pizza”, I think you’ll be surprised at how delicious a thin, crisp crust can be (sorry Chicago).
Throw a pizza party and ask each friend to bring a topping. There’s not a chance my boy will eat this, but what about thin slices of brie and pear with arugula on top, drizzled with olive oil, for example? Or a traditional Margherita with fresh tomatoes and basil? And if you want something more substantial, throw another tortilla on top and you’ve got a quesadilla. Be creative, have fun and fall in love with pizza, all over again.
Watch here for my BBQ Chicken Pizza demo and make it along with me.
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 pizzas or 24 appetizers
2 tsp. olive or grapeseed oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 gluten-free brown rice tortillas (I buy at Trader Joe’s)
8 T gluten-free BBQ sauce (the Kansas City BBQ sauce at Trader Joe’s is GFCF)
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (or Daiya vegan cheese for casein-free)
6–7 oz. smoked deli turkey, roughly chopped
4 scallions, finely sliced
1/4 c. roughly chopped cilantro
- Heat 1 tsp. oil in skillet (cast iron works great) over medium high heat and saute red onion until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with pinch of salt and remove to a bowl.
- To assemble one pizza, spread 2 T BBQ sauce on tortilla with the back of a spoon, to the edge.
- Sprinkle a quarter of the cheese and turkey atop the sauce. Spoon a quarter of the caramelized onions over the turkey and sprinkle with scallions.
- To a hot skillet, add 1 tsp. oil. When hot, slide pizza into skillet and cover, frying for 2–3 minutes on medium-high heat, until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy.
- Carefully slide pizza onto paper towels to absorb any extra oil. Remove to a cutting board, sprinkle with cilantro and slice into 6 wedges for a snack, dinner or appetizers.