Pizza is one of the few things I have not been able to satisfactorily reproduce since giving up dairy 16 months ago. My vegan cheese options in Lexington are few and often force me to think outside of the box – which can be tricky. Trusty Husband and I have had some absolute pizza disasters – his comes out crispy, gooey and laden with mozzarella mine comes out a soggy and disappointing mess dripping with “tofu ricotta” or some nutritional yeast-based sauce. While he drools and devours half his pizza, mine typically ends up in the trash leaving me sad and frustrated.
But alas, time always heals my wounds and again I’m in the kitchen trying a new vegan pizza concoction. Tonight was the fourth attempt. This time we decided to go with store-bought crust and eliminate one potential failure (either attack of the sticky crust of grossness, or the tragic crust that looks so good but fails to rise to the occasion). Armed with two all natural “Tuscan Six Grain Rustic Crusts” (the lesser of the pre-made crust evils I have found) we set to work.
First I tried a new faux cheese recipe, modifying it to fit what we had in our pantry. The flavor of this stuff was surprisingly good and strikingly similar to cheese. Then I roasted some fresh organic radishes; sliced up green pepper, green onions and some Tofurkey Vegan Sausage; and pureed a can of organic tomatoes with some a Renaissance Seasoning Blend. Assembly went well, although my cheese concoction was so thick I had to glob it on the pizza with my fingers.
After ten minutes in the oven the house was filled with the heavenly smell of pizza and I opened the oven with bated breath. Sadly what I saw was not gooey pizza. Instead the “cheese” failed to melt and instead browned and looked a little like sausage crumbles. Lack of meltiness aside, the flavor of the pizza was hands down the best. The nutritional yeast, tahini and balsamic vinegar I used in the “cheese” gave it a really rich taste. This was the first of my four attempts that I could actually eat!
I’m still not satisfied with the cheese, though, and am determined to try again before posting a recipe. In the meantime, I must encourage you all to go buy some fresh, organic radishes, slice them thinly, spray lightly with olive oil and then roast them for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. The result is pure heaven when sprinkled on a pizza.