I always wanted to make a vegan pizza but was skeptical about the "cheese". At last, I decided to cast away the scepticism and give it a try instead. Perhaps the curiosity outgrown the scepticism? I was a vegan once and I used to buy those "vegan cheese". To be honest, they taste really good, but do not have those ooey gooey goodness that real cheese tends to have. Today, I thought of making the "vegan cheese" from scratch so I can share with you fine people.
Many of you might ask, why I decided not to be vegan anymore. Long story short, I couldn't agree with some of the things vegan consume and ended in a long unfulfilling debate. I mean, if one decided to be a vegan, one should abandon all thoughts of consuming anything from animals right? If that's the case, why still call "Vegan Cheese" or "Vegan Chicken Nuggets"? Why can't it be called cashew sauce or cauliflower nuggets? Well, let's not get carry away and probably save the rant and debate for another day.
I love broccoli and mushrooms, so combining them is inevitable. Lol! The broccoli florets has that special flagrance, adding to that is the wonderful earthy mushrooms and on top of that, the sauce gives the whole pizza a wonderful nutty flavor. My next challenge is to make a nut free sauce. Cos I know some of you fine peopl are allergic to nuts. Or even a soy and nut free sauce? I had also learnt a neat trick from one of my Instagrammers by adding ice cubes to the pizza dough during grilling. That extra step indeed adds more crisp and crunch to the dough. Anyway, I really hope you will give this vegan pizza a try.
(Make 3 grilled pizzas)
Broccoli Florets Preferably Organic, 3 Cups
Olive Oil, 2 TBSP
Shiitake Mushrooms Finely Diced, 2 Cups
Vegetable Stock, 1/4 Cup
Sea Salt, Pinch
Black Pepper, Pinch
Water, 1 1/4 Cup
Cashew Nuts Soaked Overnight With Water, 1/2 Cup
Tapioca Starch, 1/4 Cup
Fresh Lemon Juice, Half Lemon
Fresh Lemon Zest, Half Lemon
Onion Powder, 1/2 Tsp
Garlic Powder, 1/2 TSP
Sea Salt, 3/4 TSP
Black Pepper, Pinch
Chili Flakes, Pinch
Grilled Pizza Dough, 3 Dough Balls
Sesame Oil, For Brushing
Griddle / Grill Oven
Please visit my "My Grilled Pizza Journey and Beyond" page for more information.
Please visit my "Grilled Pizza Dough" page for the recipe.
Prepare the vegetables.
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.
Blanch broccoli florets in the boiling water for about 2 to 3 mins.
Drain off excess water and set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, add in olive oil.
As soon as the oil start to heat up, add in the mushrooms.
Saute mushroom until caramelized with a rich dark brown color.
Add in broccoli florets and vegetable stock.
Cover and let cook until most of the stock has evaporated.
Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare cashew sauce.
In a blender, add in all the ingredients for the vegan cheese sauce.
Blitz until a smooth paste form. It should take about 3 to 4 mins.
Transfer into a sauce pot.
Crank the heat up to medium.
Stir constantly to prevent burning and also to whip it up to a thick consistency.
Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat.
Transfer into a sterilized jar. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to use.
*It can be kept in the fridge for 3 days.*
Prepare the pizza.
Once you have rolled out your pizza dough, brush the dough with sesame oil using a pastry brush.
*Remember to use a fork and gently poke all over. This is crucial as it will prevent the crust to puff up.*
In a griddle over medium-low heat, gently place in the dough oiled side down.
Carefully and gently, using your hands to press down the dough to make sure the whole dough sits fully on the griddle.
Immediately place 3 or 4 ice cubes onto the pizza dough.
Cover and grill the pizza until the ice cubes have melted.
Remove the cover, brush the dough with more sesame oil.
Grill until almost charred.
Flip the dough.
Spread a thin layer of the cashew sauce onto the pizza.
Distribute the broccoli and mushrooms evenly over the sauce.
Add some more small dollops of the cashew sauce across the pizza.
Immediately cover the griddle to generate steam.
As soon as the bottom is charred, remove the cover.
Remove the pizza from heat and transfer onto a serving plate.
Repeat the steps for the remaining pizzas.
Slice and serve immediately.