You try to come up with new ideas, but in the end, people just want to eat Italian food.Stephen Starr
I was craving a veggie pizza and wanted to try a crust using Caputo “00” flour. That is the brand and type of flour often recommended in traditional Neapolitan recipes. I also recently got a pizza stone and wanted to see if it would really crisp up the better than my old pan. Yes and yes.
The Caputo flour produces a crust that is reminiscent of the delicious and light pizza we ate in Naples. Our Emile Henry pizza stone does a good job crisping up the bottom of the pizza and cooking it evenly. We considered getting a pizza steel, but they weigh 16 pounds and I don’t have a good place to store it, so we went with the stone. I used it to bake croissants and they burned, so it’s not a good option for all baked goods, but did work well for pizza.
I wanted this to be a light, crispy pizza that highlights the flavor of late summer veggies. Instead of a base sauce, I cut a large handful of cherry tomatoes in half, lightly salted them, and sprayed them with a light coating of olive oil. After a few minutes of frying them in a pan, they soften up and make a nice base layer.
You can use any veggies you have on hand. Broccoli and zucchini are our favorites. I usually use the broccoli stalk, cutting it up into slices and then quartering the slices so they cook through. For the zucchini, I use a vegetable peeler and peel it around the entire vegetable until I reach the seeds. I slice the inner seeded part into rounds and use this part too. The soft inner part will take on the flavors of whatever oils and spices you use but has less flavor on its own.
- handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half, lightly salted, lightly sprayed with olive oil, pepper to taste
- broccoli stalk, florets cut small, stalk diced
- 1/4 sweet white onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- zucchini, sliced or peeled
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- Vegan parmesan (optional)
- pizza dough of choice
I have really come to appreciate the Violife line of vegan cheeses. Growing up veggie, there were so few vegan products on the market and cheese was the worst. It was always grainy with weird texture that didn’t melt like real cheese. Now times have changed and vegan cheese has the texture, taste, and meltability of “real” cheese. To me, Violife and Miyoko’s are the best brands.
- Dough should be at room temperature for 2 hours before handling.
- Crank your oven to 450° for 45 minutes before baking your pizza.
- Prepare all your veggies so that when you start to cook, everything you need is ready for you.
- Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Add a glug of oil.
- Fry to onions for 2 minutes, until translucent.
- Add the garlic and stir.
- Add the diced broccoli stalks. These will take the longest to cook. Stir frequently for 5 minutes.
- Add the broccoli. Give it 2 minutes.
- Add the zucchini. Give it one minute.
- Turn off the heat and let veggies sit in the pan, off the heat, for a minute while you prepare your dough.
- Roll out your dough (or toss it if you’re fancy like that!)
- Brush dough with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
- Add slices of parmesan.
- Top with veggie mix.
- Bake 13-15 minutes, depending on size of pizza and the true temperature of your oven.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
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