Friday Night Pizza

Clea Grady

Vegan Pizza

Friday night is pizza night in our house, but you can have this any night you want. But pre-made bases make this is the tastiest quick and easy meal for the end of the working week. There are lots of vegan base options available, but you do have to check the labels as some brands do sneak milk or eggs in there… No idea why, as traditional Italian pizza dough is always vegan. Adding kale to pizza has revolutionised my pizza topping world, so do give it a try! Crank up the stereo and add beer for extra Friday flavour.

  1. Vegan pizza bases
  2. Tomato sauce (ideas in Cooking Instructions)
  3. Sautéed kale
  4. Olives – kalamata or stuffed green, or a mix of the two
  5. Mushrooms, chopped
  6. Red/Yellow Pepper, finely chopped
  7. Tomatoes, finely sliced
  8. Vegan cheese (ideas/options in Cooking Instructions)
  9. Optional:
  10. Fresh chilli
  11. Artichokes
  12. Fresh rocket (to sprinkle over the top after cooking)
  13. Pine Nuts
  14. Fresh basil
  15. Chilli infused olive oil (to sprinkle over the top after cooking)
  16. Roasted garlic
  17. Spinach

Special thanks to Victoria Harley for the image: split-pin.co.uk

  • There are lots of vegan pizza bases on the market, but you do need to make sure you check the label first. The one pictured comes with tomato sauce already added, so it makes for an even quicker meal.

Making your tomato sauce should be the first step to any homemade pizza night. Some people like the simplicity of just smearing on some tomato paste/puree and sprinkling with a little oregano, basil and thyme. But if I have the time, I always make my own. (The time is the time it takes to thicken up, not the actual making.)

My easy pizza tomato sauce: Finely chop one onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Add to a frying pan with a little olive oil. Add half a teaspoon (each) of oregano, basil and thyme and mix. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, a little salt and cracked pepper and leave to simmer and thicken. If you don’t let the sauce thicken enough, your toppings can all slide off when eating. So this is why you need a little time to make the sauce. You don’t want it in any way watery.

Assembling your pizza:

  • Make tomato sauce or use a base with sauce already added (as in photo)
  • Preheat your oven to 220C
  • Wash some kale and add it to a frying pan with a little olive oil. Sauté for a few minutes until the kale is dark green. Turn off heat
  • Chop the rest of your ingredients and grate the cheese
  • Create your pizza! I usually go: sauce, kale, olives, mushrooms, pepper, tomato and, lastly (after 5/10 minutes in the oven) cheese – but you can really do any order you want
  • I always put my pizzas into the oven without the cheese and let it cook for about half the required time (check the packet instructions), and then add the cheese for the second half. This means that the veggies get enough heat, and the cheese doesn’t burn
  • Remove and eat in great big slices!

Cheese options: In the above image, the cheese is Violife Mozzarella, which works well. Vegan cheese doesn’t melt the same as dairy cheese so my advice is to go with less cheese to begin with, and work out what tastes best to you. One of my favourite combinations is to mix Violife with Vegusto No-Moo Melty (about half and half) – use about the same amount of Violife as in the photo and then add the same amount of Vegusto. This makes for a much cheesier pizza. Another option is to make your own potato and carrot cheese (recipe is within my Cheese on Toast instructions), and here you need to use loads of cheese. Definitely stick to the half cooking without cheese/half with idea, as this cheese can really crisp up (as in the Cheese on Toast photo) so you want to make sure it is hot and runny but not crisp (unless you like it that way of course!). There are more and more vegan cheeses coming on the market every day, and you’ll soon become familiar with the ones in your area/country. One of the great things about homemade pizzas is you can experiment with flavour options and amounts. Making your own pizza is great for families – kids can make their own combos and compete with the adults for best taste. It also makes for a fun and easy dinner party option.

 

 

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