Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.~ Truman Capote
This week I wanted to try a sweet potato crust. I first tried it at Mi Vegano Favorito in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. I was skeptical but the owner suggested it and it was so fabulous I ate there two more times during my vacation and almost missed my flight to get a sweet potato crust pizza to go on our last day in town.
I Googled for a “vegan sweet potato pizza crust recipe” and saw that the results varied wildly. Should I use a chia seed egg replacement? Tapioca flour? Oat? Almond flour or meal? The choices were vast and varied. This is the downfall of trusting recipes you find on the internet. Often they don’t come out well.
Still, we persisted. We chose a recipe, bought the ingredients, and followed the recipe faithfully. I knew before I even put it into the oven that the mixture would be chewy and the texture would be off. Making the sweet potato crust took much longer than we expected and we started getting hangry. I made the executive decision to use a store bought corn crust instead of risking not having lunch.
We baked the crust anyway to see what would happen. After 35 minutes in a 400 degree oven we pulled it out and gave it a try. The flavor was good, but as expected, the texture was chewy, more like undercooked pita bread. We baked some longer, tried some with additional flour, some with less. Ultimately it made a garbage paper weight.
What did we have instead?
Corn crust pizza with one minute sauce and sautéed veggies
Start: Turn the oven to 425. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes for your oven to reach this temperature.
Chop: 1/2 onion. Add a glug of oil in a frying pan. We used avocado oil and it was delish. Olive is a classic. Add the onion and stir occasionally. Give your onions 3 minutes to develop flavor. Add 2 smashed garlic cloves. (I use a Zlyiss to smash it directly into the pan.) Stir for another 30-60 seconds.
Chop your veggies. Whatever you have on hand is great. We added 1/2 a diced red pepper to the pan and sautéed it for about 2 minutes.
We chopped up a handful of Kalamata olives. I used kitchen scissors to cut up 3 sun-dried red tomatoes.
Sauce: We used two tablespoons of tomato paste thinned with a little water and added a dash of salt, a dash of dried basil, and a dash of dried oregano.
Assemble: Place the corn crust (or store bought or homemade flour crust or a sweet potato crust if you are one of the Divine chosen few who can make them) on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Layer: We prefer this order…
Thin layer of sauce sprinkled with nutritional yeast
Handful of vegan mozzarella cheese shreds (store bought)
Olives and sun-dried tomatoes
Was the pizza good? Yes! And, I’m disappointed the sweet potato crust did not work out. I try to sneak veggies into my food whenever possible and I had high hopes for this crust. This may be the Universe’s way of telling us that we need to go back to San Jose del Cabo. In the meantime, I will reach out to the three friends who started Mi Vegano Favorito and see if they are willing to share their recipe. I don’t think I have it in me to try another internet web search version. It’s too disheartening.
Next week we embrace our inner Italian and go with a traditional flour pizza crust.