Anyone who says that money cannot buy happiness has clearly never spent their money on pizza.~ Andrew W.K.
In celebration of National Pizza Day, we wanted to do something special. We both love broccoli on our pizza, so decided to try the broccoli cheese pizza from Julie Hasson’s Vegan Pizza book. This required three recipes- dough, cheddery cashew cheese sauce, and the put-it-all-together recipe for broccoli and cheddar pizza on page 70 of her book.
Starting early in the day (about 9:30 am, early for us for a Sunday) I made the spelt dough so it would have 2.5 hours to rise. This recipe from Julie is identical to her spelt dough one, just use 3 1/4 cup spelt flour instead of 3 cups of white flour. All other measurements are the same.
I halved the recipe and still had enough dough to roll out two crusts.
For the Cheddary Cashew Cheese Sauce I soaked my cashews overnight. If you have a Vitamix you can skip this step. Julie’s recipe calls for:
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Blend all in a blender until completely smooth. Transfer to a saucepan on medium heat. After about 5 minutes the mix started to get warm. I whisked the mix frequently. It did not start to bubble, but seemed warm enough to be considered a simmer. Turn the heat to low and whisk frequently for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Mine thickened at about the 15 minute mark. I stirred frequently but also had my pan of veggies going at the same time.
For the toppings, we heat a glug of avocado oil in the pan (olive works great too).
Add 1/3 of an onion, stir for 4 minutes
add 2 cloves of garlic, stir for 1 minute
add two handfuls of broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
add a dash of salt and pepper
Let fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
After several failed dough attempts, I was pleased that this spelt version was so easy to make and rolled out easily. A pastry chef would hang their head in shame, but I roll it out onto a clean counter, cover it with parchment paper, and peel the paper and dough off together.
We used about 1/2 a cup of the cheese sauce on one crust and sprinkled on a handful of vegan cheese.
Julie’s recipe calls for small chunks of raw broccoli to top the sauce and cheese, with an optional sprinkle of dried red chili flakes. We thought the chili flakes were a great idea. In our experience we like broccoli lightly fried with onions and garlic, so adjusted the recipe.
Pizza number one is more true to Julie’s recipe. Sauce, cheese, broccoli, dried red chili flakes. It was delicious. The agave nectar in the spelt crust gives it a sweet flavor. The crust was more like flatbread than pizza. Delicious nonetheless.
Since we had extra ingredients, we decided to make another version of the pizza. We mixed the cheese sauce and veggies together and slathered the mix over a light sprinkling of vegan mozzarella cheese.
Both versions were really good. I got carried away adding cheese sauce to version 2. The dough managed to brown well but the sauce mix in the middle of the pizza was not quite cooked through. We liked version 1 a little better, but I’d take either one. Yum.