I am a teacher by trade and had the joy of taking a class recently for another colleague in hospitality. It was a practical lesson to create a similar pizza. I just loved the flavours and have been planning ever since to develop a plant-based version. To make each element from scratch is a labour of love - only for those who love being in the kitchen. It does take some time. So for those who would rather eat it sooner, buy your favourite vegan pesto, caramelised onion and vegan cheese. This pizza is a great blend of sweetness from the pumpkin and the tart, freshness from the pesto. The original pizza had fetta which I replaced with marinated artichoke for a similar sour/salty balance to the sweet, caramelised onion. It is a real burst of flavours for the foodie in you. Give it a try!
300g pumpkin, sliced into small pieces
2 tsp olive oil
1 wholemeal pizza base , 230g
3 heaped Tbsp vegan pesto (or see my recipe below)
100g caramelised onion store-bought (or see recipe below)
50g marinated artichoke hearts, sliced (available near the jars of olives in the supermarket)
100g dairy-free cheese (or see my recipe below)
1. Preheat the oven to 220C
2. Lay the pumpkin out in an oven proof dish, single layer and drizzle with olive oil and season.
3. Bake for 15 minutes until tender then remove the pumpkin and reduce the oven to 180C.
4. Spread the pesto over the base and arrange the caramelised onion evenly over the pesto base.
5. Add the roasted pumpkin and marinated artichoke hearts.
6. Top with vegan cheese of your choice and bake for 15 minutes or until the pizza is browning on top. Enjoy!
Vegan Pesto Ingredients:
1/3 cup pine nuts, 40g
1/4 cup walnuts, 20g
2 1/2 cups packed basil, 30g
1 cup spinach, 15g
1 cup celery leaves, 15g
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil, 35g
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp white miso
Vegan Pesto Method:
1. Soak the pine nuts and walnuts in water for 10 mins then drain and add to a high powered blender with the garlic. Blitz until blended. Thermomix = 5 secs/speed 7
2. Add basil, spinach, celery, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and chop until fine and blended. Thermomix = 5 secs/speed 6
3. While the blender is on a low speed (Thermomix= Speed 4) add the olive oil until all combined.
4. Use right away or place in a sterilised far and pour a little olive oil on top to preserve the colour and keep in the fridge for a few days.
Caramelised Onion Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 brown onions, sliced
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Caramelised Onion Method:
1. Heat oil in a large frypan over low heat. Add the onions and a good pinch of salt and cook very slowly for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't use a higher heat because you don't want the onions to blacken on edges and not soften.
2. When onions are softened and tinged golden, add sugar and balsamic - this where the caramelisation happens. Cook onion over low heat for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised. Use immediately, or store in the fridge in a sterilised jar to add to pizza, salads or other dishes.
Vegan Melty Cheese Ingredients:
1 med potato, 100g, diced
1/2 cup arborio rice
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp white miso paste
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Vegan Melty Cheese Method:
1. Add the potato and rice to the water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.
2. Add to a high powered blender and blitz until smooth. Thermomix = 30 secs/speed 10
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blitz again until combined and smooth. Thermomix = 10 secs/Speed 4.
4. Use immediately on a pizza or nachos. Use two spoons to scoop and dollop onto the dish you require for the melty cheese. Enjoy!