It’s pizza time!
I happen to love pizza but only eat it on occasion. It’s one of those versatile meals that can range from complex to simple depending on your ingredients. I chose to make this a Mediterranean style pizza loaded with artichokes, olives, chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion and some fresh basil I had on hand. I’ve added the chickpeas here for protein. They add a nice texture and blend in nicely with everything else. Some variations on this might be to add some sliced red bell peppers or add some fresh arugula in place of the basil. Adding arugula was going be my plan but I opted for the basil instead. Feel free to use chopped sun-dried tomatoes in place of the sliced tomato. I’ve used a basil & tomato sauce here but use your favorite pizza/spaghetti sauce. Since I’ve never been a fan of cheese on my pizza, even before my transition into veganism, you won’t find any here. What you will find here though are lots of veggies and an almond parmesan topping. I know the parmesan isn’t very ‘Mediterranean’ but it tastes great none the less. All in all, this pizza was enough to satisfy my pizza craving and the left overs were just as good!
Here I used a prepared dough from Trader Joe’s, use your favorite prepared dough or pizza crust recipe. The one above it the garlic-herb, all other photos use the whole-wheat version. Both are delicious! I like to bake my dough a bit before adding the toppings. I’ve found that adding toppings and then baking leaves the middle of the pizza soggy and under cooked, even when using a pizza stone. My recipe will suggest to prepare your dough and bake for 7 – 10 minutes before adding any toppings. This will help with the finished result and you should have cooked pizza all the way through.
Once pizza is partially cooked, add toppings and cook the remainder of the way.
Once rested add some fresh chopped basil or arugulaa and a dusting of almond parmesan. Slice and enjoy!
- 1 prepared pizza dough or pizza dough recipe
- 1 can artichokes hearts, sliced
- 1/3 cup black or green olives, halved
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tomato, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1/3 cup pizza/spaghetti sauce
- pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
- 6 – 7 large basil leaves, julienned
- almond parmesan, to serve
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place pizza stone or large baking sheet into the oven while oven heats.
Let dough come to room temperature. Lightly flour a cutting board or flat work station, gently stretch with your hands and roll out into a 12 inch pizza round. Be patient with the dough, it will want to shrink back (this is because of the gluten) but keep going you’ll get it to stay in place soon enough. Place dough on a good size piece of parchment paper, this is the easiest way to transfer the dough. Once oven is ready, place dough on baking sheet and bake on the center rack for 7 – 10 minutes.
Carefully remove dough from the oven and layer starting with the sauce, then the tomato slices, artichokes, olives, chickpeas and finally the red onion. Give a good sprinkle of red pepper flakes and mineral salt. Place pizza back in the oven for an additional 10 – 15 minutes.
Once done, add the basil/arugula over top and let cool a few minutes. Cut into 4, 6 or 8 slices. Serve warm with a sprinkle of almond parmesan. Deliciousness is about to be had!
For a crisper crust, brush edges with olive oil.
This method will also work without preheating your pizza stone or baking sheet. Simply add the stone or baking sheet to the oven when ready and bake accordingly. Preheating is added insurance that your dough will not be soggy in the center.