Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about pizza.~ Nicholas Sparks (first draft, later revised)
How lucky that this year Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday. For my partner, it also started a 3-day weekend. To take advantage of the extra day off, we made two pizzas. We planned to make the Valentine’s Pizza in Julie Hasson’s Vegan Pizza book, but basil is one of the main ingredients of the pesto and it’s out of season. Instead we made a pizza that doesn’t have a catchy name but it was super good, our favorite so far. We call it the spelt crust – no sauce – mozzarella cheese – sauteed zucchini, broccoli, garlic, and onion pizza. Try it. It’s good. If you come up with a catchy name, tell us and we’ll add it.
The Crust — Thinking Ahead
I made the same spelt crust recipe from last week, but this time I made it a day ahead and let the dough rest for 6 hours in a warm room before putting it in the fridge. Letting the dough sit at room temperature for 6 hours allowed the flavors to develop more. We both noticed a richer, sweeter flavor from this batch of dough. Definitely worth planning ahead by a day or two if you can.
Spelt Dough Recipe, adapted from a recipe by Julie Hasson
Makes 1 large or 2 individual thin-crust pizzas
1 1/2 plus 1/8 cups white spelt flour (no nice way to indicate the measurement here, I used 2 scoops of 3/4 cups of flour)
3/4 tea sea salt
1 tea instant yeast
3/4 cups warm water (do not boil it, use from the tap, aim for 110°)
1 tbs. olive or avocado oil
1 tbs. agave syrup
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt, mixing well with a fork.
Sprinkle yeast on top.
Add the warm water, oil, and agave.
Stir with a fork until well combined and no traces of flour remain.
Do not overmix. The dough will be a little bit wet. It’s it’s too wet to handle, you can add a little flour.
Let the dough sit, covered with plastic wrap or in a bowl with a lid and room to expand. The dough needs to sit for at least 2 hours. Three is better. You could go wild and let it sit in a warm room all day. I let mine sit near a sunny window for 6 hours and put in the fridge when I got home from work. I took the dough out of the fridge the next day and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes before rolling it out and baking it. There was a noticeably tastier flavor in the batch of dough that sat overnight, so if you can plan ahead, your taste buds will thank you. You can make the dough up to 5 days ahead and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Toppings and all that jazz
By chance I had the good fortune to discover that thinly sliced zucchini, sauteed with garlic and onions, is one of the best toppings I’ve ever had on a pizza. So, for our V night special, I knew zucchini had to play a central role. We decided to forego sauce to let the flavor of the spelt crust and mozzarella join together. We’ve had a similar version with sauce and it was good too.
The spelt crust easily rolled out to a thin, almost flatbread consistency. We topped it with a generous handful of vegan mozzarella and sauteed veggies.
My favorite sauteed veggies
This is my tried and true method of sauteeing veggies for pizza night, noodle night, rice or quinoa night, you name it, this recipe works.
Heat a skillet over medium heat
Add a glug of oil– olive or avocado are my favorites
Add 1/4 to 1/2 of a diced onion, depending on your preference and the size of the onion
Heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion pieces begin to look translucent
Add 2-4 cloves of garlic
Heat for 30-60 seconds, stirring constantly
Thinly slice a zucchini with a vegetable peeler, add to the pan
The zucchini slices will mash together, that’s OK. Use your spoon to seperate them a bit, but don’t worry about it. They will cook fairly evenly in the pan and again in the oven.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, more salt = more flavor; using a pepper mill for fresh ground is always preferred
Add small florets of broccoli, you can also add thin slices of the stalk
Once all the veggies are added, stir for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and top your pizza. Bake in a hot oven between 425°-450° for 14-15 minutes. Share with the one (or ones) you love. ❤ ❤