grain free pizza - part 1 (in a series)

I don't know who started the cauliflower substitute for a pizza crust, but I find it a bad choice on every level imaginable.  It's like making tofu into a hotdog shape.  It's wrong.  Stop doing it.

Continuing on my burning bridge theme, I'm skeptical of the 1/8th of the planet who are now gluten free.  I am however sensitive to a friend who can't eat grain  AT ALL!  He doesn't have a shocking or dangerous reaction to it, but he can't have it.  How am *I* supposed to express appreciation to a friend who doesn't eat grain?  

So, I've been thinking about a grain free alternative for pizza for a long time.  What persistently comes to mind is a potato skin as the foundation of toppings to substitute for a dough derived from wheat flour.  It's starchy for sure, the papery skin sounded great as a bottom layer and hopefully the scant residual potato would cook soft - maybe like the bloomed interior of a wheat flour dough?  

But is this just another version of stuffed potato skins?  Then the horrible images of Applebees frozen & reheated potato skins came stampeding into my memory bludgeoning my hopes of a satisfying creation.  But I forged on.  Like many foods I think about, this involves few ingredients and process.  I decided to jump in with a quickie today.  Here's my first shot:

 These were baked in a 425F oven for 1h 20 minutes.

Split open, observe how well separated the skin is from the flesh.  The skin is crisp, the flesh is extremely tender.  Without even a sprinkle of salt, the potato is sublime.  Shocking how tough it is to get a good baked potato.

I scraped the potato out using a spoon.  Tough to tell from the photo, but there is very little potato left and the crispy skins, on cooling, became supple enough to work with.

I smushed the skin to the size of approximately an English muffin pizza.  This size element is a serious limitation unless I find a way to patch several skins together into one pizza shell.  The tomato sauce is just some raw tomato with herbs, off the shelf, nothing big.

 I had no mozzarella on hand so I used parmesan and finished it with a squirt of olive oil.  The two mini pies were placed on parchment.

Into a 425F oven until melty and bubbly on top.  I found the taste of the base surprisingly good.  I need to try again with a bigger potato, maybe patch some skins together, better quality tomato and mozzarella, fresh basil on top, etc.  This is special.  Stay tuned for updates.