There is a wonderful “holiday” this coming Saturday, and I’ve got the perfect recipe for you to celebrate it with. What holiday is that? You may ask. Oh, just VEGAN PIZZA DAY. Last year, I celebrated it by going to Phoney Baloney’s (RIP) with a righteous hangover and eating an amazing Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwich. I still haven’t decided what exactly I’ll be doing this year; but, you better believe that it will include some awesome vegan pizza.
This pizza came out of having pesto on my mind, for the last week straight. It’s just been hanging out in my brain, saying, “Pesto burger.. Pesto pasta… Pesto.. Pesto Pizza.” Boy, am I glad that I ended up giving this a go! The smell of everything, even before it was baked, was pretty incredible.
Using fresh basil from a plant that I picked up, very little oil, a touch of nutritional yeast and a few more ingredients, made this pesto great. It was thick enough to spread, but not too chunky. It paired perfectly with the salty kalamata olives, sun-ripened tomato slices, and of course, some artichoke hearts. I always forget how awesome homemade pizza can be!
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- ½ C. Warm Water
- 1 tsp. Agave Nectar
- 1 T. Active Dry Yeast
- 1 C. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (You may need to add more in while kneading)
- ½ C. Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 tsp. Dried Italian Seasoning
- ½ tsp. Onion Powder
- Corn Meal for Dusting
- 2 T. Olive Oil + Extra for Brushing
- 2 C. Fresh Basil, Chopped & Lightly Packed
- 2 C. Spinach, Lightly Packed
- ⅓ C. Pine Nuts
- 3 T. Water
- 2 T. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 T. Nutritional Yeast
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
- 1 T. Olive Oil
- Salt and Ground Pepper to Taste
- Artichoke Hearts, Chopped
- Kalamata Olives
- Red Onion, Half Moons
- Tomato, Sliced Very Thin
- Optional: Vegan Parmesan
- Stir the agave nectar and active dry yeast into the warm water until it dissolves. Set aside and let it rise for 12-25 minutes.
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Once the yeast is ready, pour it into the bowl, along with the olive oil. Knead the dough on a surface dusted with flour, for 3 minutes.
- Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, for 30 minutes.
- (Start on the pesto)
- Preheat oven for 425ºF, with pizza stone inside (if you’re using one).
- Take the raised dough and knead for another 1-2 minutes. Roll out flat, to about ½” thick; then carefully stretch the dough out with your hands until it is 14″ wide.
- Make sure to leave the dough a little thicker around the edges for a good crust.
- Place the dough onto a pan or pizza stone that has a thin layer of corn meal on it, and bake for 5 minutes.
- Take out of the oven, spread out the pesto, layer the toppings, and brush a little olive oil onto the crust. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.
- Once the crust is nice and golden, let the pizza cool for a couple of minutes and serve!
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth, with an even consistency. Season with salt and pepper to your taste preference.
At one point, while shooting the pizza, my dad said, “I dunno Jackie, this smells almost like a normal pizza. You may be getting the hang of this.” Once I was done, he went over to the pizza stone and followed up with a, “Don’t look, I can’t believe I’m doing this, but this is pretty good!” I did happen to sneak a blurry picture of him going for it, though.