Time for something a little different
slightly better than average today…
I’m starting the year off right. (Read – with pizza). Since it’s January, I also decided to go against the grain and make a pizza (base) that was neither low carb, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, low fat, soy-free or fat-free (or made with purely vegetables). There’s certainly a time and a place for all those things and places on the blogsphere you can find those kinds of recipes, but right here, right now, I’m just not feelin’ it.
This was my first venture into real Italian cooking (from scratch) and even though I can’t tell you this was a traditional Italian recipe, I can tell you it was damned good.
Those of you who have read and followed my → acne story ← from way back, will know that I’ve steered clear of soy for nearly a year – which has meant no vegan cheese. But there are times in life when rules are there to be broken and this was one of them (because, really, you can’t do pizza, no matter what ethic background it has, without cheese).
You just can’t.
And don’t try and tell me otherwise, because I’ll most likely argue it to the grave.
And that pesto?
I whipped up a batch of that flavour bomb sauce using a combination of garlic, fresh coriander, parsley, and mint. I also ate the leftovers the next day spread over toast and pita bread, which is kind of standard given how crazy good (and nutritious) this stuff is.
→ 1 cup warm water
→ 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
→ 2 tablespoons agave, divided
→ 2 tablespoon olive oil
→ 3 cups all-purpose flour
→ 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
→ 1 small head of garlic
→ 1 cup fresh coriander
→ 1/4 cup fresh parsley
→ 1/4 cup fresh mint
→ 2 tablespoon cashews
→ 1/4 cup olive oil
→ 2 tablespoon vegan cheese, grated
→ 1/4 teaspoon pepper
→ 1 small courgette, sliced into thin rounds
→ 1 roasted red pepper, sliced thin strips (or half of a large)
→ 1 (4 ounce) jar marinated artichokes
→ 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
→ 1/2 teaspoon cumin
→ 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (use less for less heat)
→ 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
→ 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
→ 1/3 cup kalamata olives (or a mix of green + kalamata)
→ 1 cup fresh vegan cheese, grated
→ 1/4 cup cashews
- For the Dough: In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and agave. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until the mixture turns foamy on the top. Add in 2.5 cups of flour and olive oil and stir with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour in to the dough, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. You can also do all the mixing and kneading in your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Chop the garlic cloves and set on a baking tray with a teaspoon of olive oil and bake in the oven until golden brown (about 30 minutes).
3. Place the coriander, parsley, mint, roasted garlic, vegan cheese, olive oil and cashews in a food processor and pulse a few times until well combined but not blended.
4. In a large bowl add the courgette, pepper and drained artichokes. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, the smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, turmeric, and a pinch of pepper. Toss really well making sure the spices are evenly coating the veggies and there are no clumps. Set aside.
5. Once the pizza dough has risen, take half the dough (either make two pizzas or freeze the other for later), and press into a 8/10 inch touch circle. Top with pesto and then sprinkle with vegan cheese, marinated veggies and olives.
6. Bake on the middle shelf for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cut, and serve!