Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pizza with Sweet Basil Pesto & Cashew Cheese

Pizza is one of those things I thought I'd miss like crazy as a vegan. But vegan pizza is just so much better! Now when I crave pizza, I crave something like this version I made this past weekend. It's delicious and doesn't leave me feeling bloated and gross and blah like fat- and grease-laden cheese pizza would.

For this version I used...
  • Whole Wheat Pizza Dough from Mark Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook. The dough uses the same technique as the bread I make every week--you mix a few ingredients together and let it sit for the day so the flavors ferment. This version uses some all-purpose flour too, so you get whole wheat goodness with the crustiness of white dough.
  • Sweet Basil Pesto Tapenade from Veganomicon. This is a unique pesto. Made with a good amount of maple syrup, it's sweet and pesto-y at once. In my mind's eye, I can see future party guests raving over this. I'd serve it as an appetizer with crusty bread, stuffed into cherry tomatoes, or spread on grilled zucchini.
  • Fresh Tomato Sauce from Mark Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook. This is so simple and delicious, it's ridiculous. Thinly slice garlic and saute it in a little olive oil, then add chopped and seeded fresh tomato. Stir, and in a few minutes you have a fresh pizza sauce. I put the sauce over the tapenade.
  • Cashew Ricotta from Veganomicon. I've made this cashew cheese from Vegetarian Times many times and love it. But it takes about a day and a half to make. I was able to whip this cashew ricotta up in no time. And...oh! It's good. It tastes like something in between ricotta and a cheesy spread. The lemon juice was a little overpowering at first, but I can't taste it at all in the leftovers. Still, I'd use a little less next time. I scooped dollops onto the sauce.
This pizza was mmmmmmmm....delicious! The combination of everything together was amazing. I might experiment with a version of this for appetizers...maybe with baguette or sheets of phyllo as the base, topped with the tapenade, a slice of tomato, and a dollop of cashew ricotta on top. This week, I've been eating the leftovers on very unglamorous toasted wheat bread, and it's still amazing!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I must have skimmed right over that cashew cheese sauce. I haven't made any cashew cheese, ever, but this whole pizza really makes me want to. Nice job!