I still love pizza. Granted it's no longer the grease laden, cheese filled, pizza of the past, but I still love it. For me, the idea of making pizza from scratch is so romantic. It reminds of me of Italy, even though I have never been... *sigh*. When I think of Italian cuisine, it's handmade patiently and with love. That is pizza, pizza is love. Well, it should be anyways and I think vegan pizza most certainly is. Pizza is also art, it's one of those foods that can suck you in instantly just based on how beautiful it is. So I embrace vegan pizza made from scratch, it's compassionate, thoughtful, and delicious! Plus you get to play with your food and be creative, hello!? 🙂 As some of you know already, I don't enjoy the faux cheeses that are available out there now (I know, apologies to Daiya)... instead I aim for pizzas that are so orgasmically good you never even give a passing thought to cheese, whether it's faux or real. And folks, this pizza is all grown up. Bitter broccoli rabe, paired with spicy cherry peppers, and sweet caramelized onions with garlic in the supporting role makes for one piece of amazing adult pizza. Call the babysitter, invite some friends over, and uncork a good bottle of wine... It's pizza night! Ciao!
- pizza dough, enough to make 2 - 12" to 14" pizzas, I used this recipe
- 2 large sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 TBS canola oil
- 1/4 tsp agave syrup, I used light
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 bunch of broccoli rabe, the bottom 3" of stems discarded and the remaining chopped into 2" long pieces
- 3/4 cup of sliced hot pickled cherry peppers, more or less as desired, seeds and stems discarded
- 3/4 cup of sliced mild pickled cherry peppers, seeds and stems discarded
- 1 - 28oz can of chunky tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- 2 TBS minced garlic
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- olive oil
- handful of basil leaves
- salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat 2 TBS of canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, salt, and agave cook stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes until onions are golden and caramelized. Set aside. While onions are cooking, bring about an inch of salted water in a large skillet to a rolling boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and put into a metal colander. Rinse the broccoli rabe with lots of very cold water to stop the cooking process and the keep the bright green color. Let the broccoli rabe drain in the colander until ready to go on top of the pizzas.
Next form your pizza dough into 2 - 12" or 14" diameter pies. Place each round on a sheet of parchment. Drizzle a little olive oil over each pizza, add 1 TBS garlic to each pie and use your hands to smear the garlic and oil evenly across the top. Do this liberally and make sure you hit every nook and cranny so every piece is infused with garlic. Next spoon the tomato sauce onto the pizzas making sure to leave a nice edge for the crust. Use as little or as much sauce as you like. Sprinkle on the Italian seasoning and pepper flakes. Now you are ready to add the broccoli rabe. Grab a handful and squeeze it over the sink or above a paper towel. You want get as much juice out as you can so your pizza does not become watery. Distribute the broccoli rabe evenly between the 2 pies. Now add the cherry peppers, pat them dry with a paper towel if they are wet. Next up is the caramelized onions. I like to add these in little spoonfuls to the top, but add them however your creativity sees fit. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and you can drizzle a little bit more olive oil over the top, but it's not needed.
Carefully put pizzas into hot oven, leaving them on the parchment. I use a pizza peel to do this as it makes life so much easier, but you could also flip a cookie sheet upside down to help you slide the pizza into the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is crisp on the bottom. Alternate the pizzas after the first 7 minutes, they should switch places in the oven. That way they will cook more evenly. When done, remove from oven and sprinkle each pizza with basil leaves. Cut into slices, I usually cut mine into 6 slices each, and serve while still hot. Serves 4-6 people. If you only have a single serving of dough for one pizza, just cut the remaining ingredients in half and it will turn out perfect.