Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vegan Pizza Happiness

So I know that I should have made my own pizza dough, but there was so much else going on last night in KitchenLand that I'm really glad I just bought some dough at Trader Joe's. Plus, it's really good.

Vegan Pizza Happiness:
Pre-made dough
Small handful flour
1 small yellow onion, cut in half and then sliced
4 crimini mushrooms, sliced
Assorted cherry tomatoes, sliced
Approx. 1/3 package Utpon's Natural Italian Sausage-style Seitan
4 artichoke heart pieces, cut in half
Fresh herbs, like oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, etc., chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced or put through a press
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and place a cookie sheet in the oven, allowing it to heat as your oven heats. Prepare your veggies and take the dough out of the fridge, allowing it to rest for 20 minutes before working with it.

I originally wanted to caramelize the onions for this, but changed my mind and just let them cook through really well. Add the onions first and let them cook over medium heat, until they have taken on a good bit of color. Add your garlic, and the red pepper flakes before then adding the mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and seitan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the mushrooms look delicious and then turn off the heat as you prepare your crust.

Spread a good amount of flour on your work surface and knead your dough a couple of times before pulling it into about a 12-inch-round shape. You may find that the dough will spring back on you. Let it rest a bit longer and try again. Tear out a piece of aluminum foil, oil it well, and place your dough in the middle, folding up the edges of the foil to avoid spills. Spread the oil onto the top of the crust as well, to promote good browning.

Add as much of the sauce as your prefer and then carefully pour out the cooked veggies and seitan, arranging the toppings as evenly as you can. Place the tomato slices, and then sprinkle the top of the pizza with your chopped herbs and any additional salt and pepper that you may desire.

Place your pizza in the oven by moving the tin foil onto the hot cookie sheet, with the rack adjusted in an upper-middle position, and cook until the crust is golden-brown on top and beneath. For me, this took between 12 and 14 minutes, though the package claimed 5-7. Let the pizza rest for 3 minutes before cutting.

Some beauty shots, emphasizing the crust:

This was so yummy, and delicious reheated today as well. Next time, I will try with my own pizza dough and let you know how it turns out.

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