Zucchini Pizza Crust with Lemony Pea Pesto from Nutrition Stripped by McKel Hill

We’re falling head over heels for the healthy and tasty recipes in Nutrition Stripped by McKel Hill, which feature light and fresh ingredients with incredible flavor. In this cookbook McKel Hill, popular blogger, dietitian and Instagrammer, draws inspiration from nature, the turning of the seasons, the world of plants, nutrient dense foods and hidden gems in the world of superfoods. This cookbook shows readers how deliciously simple whole foods cooking can be and features more than 100 exciting and good-for-you recipes and beautiful color photography throughout.  Nutrition Stripped is on sale today! Purchase a copy from your favorite retailer.

Today we’re sharing a recipe for Zucchini Pizza Crust with Lemony Pea Pesto from the cookbook, which couldn’t be more perfect since zucchini and summer squash is in peak season. The zucchini crust in this recipe is crunchy and flavorful, and the pea pesto topping is perfectly tangy. Let’s get this on the dinner menu this week!

Zucchini Pizza Crust with Lemony Pea Pesto

Serves 4

088_NS_ZucciniPizza.9190Zucchini is a surprisingly chameleon-like vegetable—I find myself using it frozen in morning smoothies, pureed in desserts, and, now, grated in pizza crust! Zucchini pizza is a great way to sneak in extra servings of vegetables, and it is naturally lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber compared with traditional crusts. This recipe pays homage to a cauliflower crust, which is one of my most popular recipes from the blog. Both of these recipe components, the crust and pea pesto, can be enjoyed on their own, yet when combined, it’s evident they’re meant to be enjoyed together.

  • 3 cups finely grated zucchini
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Lemony Pea Pesto (recipe follows)
  • Garnishes: arugula, grated fresh lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper

Place the grated zucchini in a strainer, sprinkle the salt on top, and gently toss until the salt is distributed. Allow the zucchini to sit and sweat excess moisture for 45 to 60 minutes.

Transfer the zucchini from the strainer to a nut-milk bag or cheesecloth. Wrapping the cloth around the zucchini entirely, use your hands to squeeze out any excess liquid. Repeat the process until the zucchini no longer releases liquid. Place the zucchini in a large bowl and add the flours, eggs, garlic, nutritional yeast, oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine well.

Position one rack in the middle of the oven and another in the top position. Place a pizza stone (for a crispier crust) or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper on the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 500˚F. Place a large piece of parchment paper on a clean countertop and drizzle it with olive oil. Spread the zucchini dough onto the parchment paper and form the dough into a
large 10-inch round or oval, about 1/2 inch thick.

Transfer the dough from the parchment paper directly to the hot pizza stone or lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the pizza crust over and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the crust is firm-crisp.

Carefully remove the crust from the oven, spoon on the pesto to the desired thickness, and bake on the top rack for 5 to 7 minutes, until the pesto is warm. Remove from the oven. Top with garnishes, if desired, and serve immediately.

Lemony Pea Pesto

  • 1 (10-ounce) bag frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Quick-thaw the peas by blanching in boiling water for 3 minutes or microwaving until soft. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the peas, pine nuts, garlic, oil, water, hemp seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste and pulse until the mixture is well combined and thick. Adjust seasonings to taste. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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