pizza is delicious even without cheese

19 May
delicious cheese-free pizza

It even makes great leftovers!

I’ll admit that there are a few food items I really miss since going dairy-free. Namely: nachos, cheesy fries, and pizza. And let’s face it – vegan cheese substitutes are disgusting. So what’s a girl to do when she wants a date night with her man, some pizza, and Netflix? Enter vegan pizza.

I was not optimistic. The man was downright skeptical (mostly of the beans). Pizza without cheese just seemed impossible. And yet, what we pulled out of the oven was not only dairy-free, but delicious! I am sold, and the man liked it too. Pizza and movie night is restored!

Here is the recipe. Please note that although the pizza only needs to cook for 15 minutes, the dough requires almost an hour and a half of rising time.

VEGAN PIZZA

Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup very warm water (110-120 deg. F)
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
Toppings ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 4-6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 medium ripe slicing tomato, halved and cut into slices
  • 15-20 kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 medium-sized sweet yellow onion, cut into thin slices
  • 8-10 shitake mushrooms, sliced
Directions:

1. To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water.  Let sit for 10 minutes, until foamy. Stir in the flour and mix until combined, then use your hands to knead it into a soft dough ball.

2. Tranfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding additional flour as needed so it doesn’t stick.  Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in an oiled bowl.  Cover with a warm damp cloth and let rise at room temperature in a draft-free spot until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

3. After the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and gently stretch and lift it to make a round about 1/4 inch thick.  Transfer the round to an oiled baking sheet or pizza stone.  Let the dough rise for an additional 20 minutes.  Preheat over to 425 degrees F.

4. To make the topping: In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

5. In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the beans, salt, and pepper. Then stir in the vegetable stock and tomato paste and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

6. Place the bean mixture in a food processor. Add basil and rosemary and blend until a smooth paste.

7. To assemble the pizza. Spread the bean mixture evenly on top of the dough round, to within 1/2 inch of the edge.  Arrange the tomato slices, olives, onions and mushrooms on top and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with any remaining chopped fresh basil.

8. Bake on bottom rack until the crust is browned, 12 to 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3. You can add some chopped cooked chicken if you aren’t a vegan (free-range humanely raised, of course).

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2 Responses to “pizza is delicious even without cheese”

  1. Jennifer May 24, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Yum! I tried a cheeseless pizza recently that started off well and then veered towards the slightly-too-adventurous — caramelized onions (good), chopped kale (fine), broccoli (ok), fennel seeds (um…) and so on. Yours sounds more my speed.

    By the way, I’ve heard you can freeze the dough and pull it out on busy week nights to skip the rising time. I need to revisit the Molly Katzen book I read this tip in. My spouse just got me a baking stone, and I need an excuse to try it out!

    • ThisAmericanDiet May 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      Yes, there definitely seems to be a threshold of pizza-ness, that requires some restraint when selecting toppings. Get too creative and suddenly it’s not pizza anymore. Let me know how yours turns out! I’m thinking of getting a stone…

      And a great tip about freezing the dough!

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