I usually make pizza to hold and quickly cook any vegetables I have that need to be used, but a couple days ago we had a pizza so delicious and simple I decided to repeat it. The sauce is a rich, garlicky cashew cream that melts into a vegan cheese, making it stretchy and gooey. Mushrooms and onions add savory pops of flavor underneath a small salads worth of crispy, lemony kale. The textures and flavors contrast and compliment each other, making each bite interesting and dynamic. To top it all off, it is quick, simple and perfect for a week night dinner.
One way to cut back on time is by buying a premade crust. Although I tend to be of the opinion that homemade is better, I often cheat and buy pizza dough from Trader Joe’s. It’s only $1.29, and if I’m making pizza chances are it’s because I’m tired and want food quickly. I also pick up my Vegan Cheese at Trader Joe’s- the store near me just started carrying it, and I can’t get enough. Not only is it good, but it’s really decently priced. I do find that, like Diaya, (which you could also use here, although I like Trader Joe’s a little more) it has a little bit of that vegan cheese after taste. That is avoided in this pizza by letting it melt into the cashew cream, whose garlicky flavor hides any after taste.
In my house we are real garlic fans- you won’t catch a vampire within a square mile of the house. The cashew cream we made use four cloves, for about a cup and a half of cream. If you are not such a garlic fan (or maybe you ARE a vampire fan), you can reduce the garlic used in the cashew cream to a level you find more pleasant.
Once you’ve layered your pizza, allow it to bake for about 15 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it- you want the crust to get firm, but not burnt, and the kale to get darker and crispy but not charred. When your pizza has reached the perfect amount of crunch, remove, slice and enjoy.
White Kale Pizza
- One pizza dough, homemade or store bought
- 6-8 shiitake or crimini mushrooms
- Half an onion
- ¾ of a cup of vegan mozzarella
- 2-3 cups of kale, cut into bite-sized pieces and tightly packed
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup of cashews (preferably not roasted or salted)
- Salt, to taste
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Put the cashews in a bowl of water and allow to soak for at least 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
2. Dice the onion and the mushrooms and set aside. Chop the kale into bite sized pieces and toss in the olive oil, 1 tsp. lemon juice and pinch of salt, massaging it lightly until all the kale is coated. Kneed and stretch the dough onto a pizza pan.
3. Drain the liquid from the cashews and place them along with ½ cup of water and the other ingredients for the cashew cream in a blender. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. Use a spoon to spread the cashew cream in an even layer on the pizza crust, making sure to leave a few tablespoons out for later use. Next evenly sprinkle the vegan cheese, and top it with the onions and mushrooms. Lastly distribute the kale on top, and add the remaining cashew cream in large spoonfuls on the kale.
5. Cook at 425 for 15 minutes, making sure to check around 10 minutes in that nothing is burning. Remove when the bottom crust has just started to brown.