Having food allergies and intolerances doesn’t have to mean I can’t eat foods I like. Admittedly, I don’t eat much pizza, preferring fresh tropical fruits and juices, and plenty of raw crunchy vegetables to accompany my freshly caught fish, wild shrimp, or the occasional lobster that washes up onto my plate,
When a friend from Quito recently visited my beach paradise, we decided to have a pizza night. It had been years since I’d eaten pizza due to allergies, but if we could find a way, I could do it. The challenge of the afternoon was: how to make a tasty pizza base without using wheat-flour? With green plantain bananas, of course.
Green Banana Pizza Base:
6 large green plantain bananas, peeled and washed
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 organic egg (optional – it helps hold the mixture together, but is not essential)
1/2 lb fresh farm cheese, grated
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Tip: rub a little oil on your hands before peeling the bananas so the sap dripping from the fruit doesn’t stick to your fingers, and be careful not to get sap on your clothes because this is one stain that will not come out – ever!
Grate the bananas on the smallest blades on the your grater so that you end up with a fine paste. Next, mix in the onion, the egg if you’re using one, cheese, cilantro and salt until it’s blended together really well. (You can probably mix it all in the food processor, but I’ve never tried it this way and like the chunky result)
With wet hands, form the banana mixture into a large ball and place it onto a well greased pizza tray. Keep wetting your fingers as you press the dough out into a round pizza shape (perfection not required – see photo). It should be fairly thin, and you can patch up any holes with pieces of the mixture from the edges. Then, pre-bake the base in a medium oven (180C) for about 20-25 minutes.
While it’s cooking, you have time to get the rest of your pizza ingredients together. We made tomato sauce with garlic and fresh oregano for our pizza, mixing it all in the blender before cooking it to a smooth paste. The rest, as you can see, we made up as we went along, and didn’t even grate the locally made organic farm cheese we finally put on top. Mozzarella isn’t available this far out in the boonies, but this cheese is good for cooking.
Once your favorite pizza toppings are arranged over the base, bake it again until the cheese melts. This base is not thick and spongy like most wheat-flour pizza bases, but it is thin and crispy, fairly light and is delicious with its own special flavor underneath all those great pizza toppings.
On our wonderful pizza, we put the special home-made pizza sauce, sliced tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, green olives, a few jalapeños, and organic farm cheese.
Interested in learning more about Ecuadorian fusion cuisine in Ecuador?
Ask Footprints how.