“…like that star of the waning summer who beyond all stars rises bathed in the ocean stream to glitter in brilliance.”Homer, The Iliad
This week’s pizza was created to honor a new course of study I am embarking on next month. I’ve had a lifelong interest in astrology. Over the years I’ve picked up bits and pieces of information, taken classes, studied books, and read countless horoscopes. I’ve learned a lot of random information about astrology, but I haven’t yet had the tools to put it all together into a synthesized chart reading.
Next month I start year one of a three year program in Hellenistic astrology, exploring astrology’s ancient roots. I don’t know much about ancient Greek culture, so I am also taking this free Coursera class on the Ancient Greeks. I had to ask my partner to explain The Iliad to me because I found it very confusing!
The pottery, dress, and lifestyle of the time is very interesting to me. I don’t know a lot about Greek cuisine. When I think of Greek food, I think of the ubiquitous salad, pita bread with hummus and tzatziki sauce, dolmas, and baklava. Have you ever tried to bake with phyllo dough? I have and I swore never to try it again.
We decided this week’s pizza should be an honoring to the Greek gods. It’s based on a Greek salad, minus the lettuce and feta cheese. If you are a fan of feta, you can now buy vegan feta in grocery stores. We both dislike the taste of dairy feta so decided to make the base layer hummus instead. Beans are healthy, full of fiber and protein, and easy to flavor.
- 1 (15 oz.) can of garbanzo beans
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt, pepper, paprika to taste
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and salt. Process for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Rinse your chickpeas until the water runs clear. (You can save the liquid the chickpeas were canned in and use it to make vegan aquafaba brownies. They are amazing! I made two batches in one week.)
- Add the rinsed chickpeas to the food processor. Process until smooth, adding about 2 tablespoons of water to thin as needed.
Homemade hummus is always better than store bought and it’s easy to make. You can spice it as you like and get the consistency just right. If you prefer smooth hummus, follow the recipe above and start by whipping the tahini before you add the beans. This nifty trick came from Inspired Taste.
- Dough of choice- we use this recipe as our go to dough
- Batch of hummus
- 1 (15 oz.) can crushed or diced tomatoes- we used fire roasted for some added flavor
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 10 Kalamata olives, sliced in half
- artichoke hearts- we used a small jar of water and herb marinated hearts
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425° for about 30 minutes.
- Roll out your pizza dough. Brush it with olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes, depending on thickness.
- While the crust is baking, make your red sauce. Drain half of the liquid from the can of tomatoes. Heat on the stove in a small pot with a lid. (Traditionally, Italians hand crush whole, canned tomatoes. If that sounds fun, go for it!) If you are using unsalted and unspiced tomatoes, add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and dried oregano, spicing it as you like. We used fire roasted tomatoes and added about a teaspoon of oregano.
- While the crust is baking and the sauce is simmering on the stove, slice the olives in half. Slice the artichoke hearts in thirds. You may want to drain the artichoke hearts on a paper towel if they seem wet.
- When the pizza crust is done baking, remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Slather with hummus, then red sauce, then olives and artichoke hearts. If you prefer, you can bake the crust for 10 minutes, slather and layer the ingredients, and then bake for another 5 minutes so the hummus and veggies get hot.
We loved this pizza. It inspired us to create another variation using navy beans, sun dried tomatoes, and capers as the “hummus” base. That pizza was so delicious it needs a post of it’s own. I am sure this was not our last nod to Greek cuisine. There is so much more to explore.
If you are curious about other vegan Greek food recipes, The Greek Vegan has some great looking recipes. I want to try the chocolate date balls and the pumpkin bread. Until next week, Kalí óreksi! That’s Greek for bon appétit.