My favourite dinner night, when it’s just me and my man staying in, is homemade pizza night. I don’t need to tell you that pizza is basically the world’s most perfect food. When it’s warm enough outside, I usually place my pizza stone on the grates of our grill, and blast the thing to high. This cooking method goes very well with ice cold rosé. In this colder season though, we’re grateful for the residual heat beaming from the oven after the pizza has been long-devoured. See? The most perfect food.
The thing though: I find the process of stretching the dough, flouring the counter/my entire kitchen, and transferring the pre-baked pizza to be sorta stressful. I always wind up with way too much flour on the bottom of my pizza. The move from peel to stone makes a big, flour-y mess too. I solved this issue for myself recently though, and even though my tip is probably common sense to most, I felt pretty smart when it hit me.
I lay a sheet of parchment on the peel, carefully transfer my stretched dough to the parchment, re-stretch/shape it a bit, and THEN I cut a tiny parchment border around the dough circle with a little pull tab on one side for transferring to the peel. There isn’t enough parchment exposed that you’ll get burnt paper, and it makes the process so much cleaner. It’s made for a lot more pizza nights around here ;)
Our favourite pizza lately? It’s this incredible spicy and vegan white pizza with broccoli rabe. I make a creamy and lush sauce out of white beans, truffle oil, nutritional yeast and garlic—I swear it doesn’t taste bean-y at all once it’s all in the mix. Broccoli rabe is one of my favourite pizza toppings, and it vibes perfectly with shallots, lush shiitakes, pepperoncinis, oregano, sundried tomatoes, and the creamy sauce here. The pizza is so green and vibrant—basically the same as eating salad, ya know? After the Valentine’s Day party, it’s the pizza party. Who’s with me?
SPICY VEGAN WHITE PIZZA WITH BROCCOLI RABE & TRUFFLE CREAM RECIPE
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: If you don’t have a pizza stone/pizza peel, I would recommend preheating the oven to 450 degrees F instead and heating a half sheet pan in there for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven and pour a drizzle of olive oil into it. Move the oil around with a pastry brush or spatula, then quickly and carefully transfer your stretched out dough to the sheet pan. You should hear a sizzle. Top the pizza and proceed with baking, checking the pizza after 15 minutes and cooking it longer if necessary.
TRUFFLED CREAM SAUCE INGREDIENTS
¾ cup cooked white beans (like cannellini or navy beans)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1 clove of garlic, peeled
¼ teaspoon white truffle oil
sea salt & ground black pepper
TOPPINGS & ASSEMBLY
½ bunch broccoli rabe, tough stems removed and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra
6 oz/185 grams shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 lb/454 grams pizza dough at room temperature
flour of choice, for dusting
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
3-4 pickled pepperoncini peppers, drained and sliced
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
1 sprig oregano, leaves roughly chopped
Lay a pizza stone on the bottom rack of a cold oven, ensuring that there’s enough clearance above to transfer the pizza. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Make the truffled white sauce: in an upright blender combine the white beans, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, truffle oil, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth. The consistency should be similar to that of a creamy salad dressing: thick, but drips off of a spoon. Set aside.
Fill a large saucepan or deep skillet/braiser with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Place the chopped broccoli rabe into the water and cook for 1 minute. Drain the broccoli rabe and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Dry the broccoli rabe with paper towels and set aside.
Wipe out the saucepan/braiser and set it back over medium-high heat. Pour in the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms to the pan. Let them sear for 1 minute. Stir them up and add the paprika and garlic. Let the mushrooms sear for another full minute. Season with salt and pepper and stir. They should be glistening and soft. Take the mushrooms off the heat, scrape them into a bowl, and set aside.
Dust your working surface and a pizza peel with flour OR line it with a piece of parchment paper. Start stretching out the dough until you have a 12-inch circle of even thickness. Carefully transfer the dough circle to the floured/papered peel. If you use the paper method, trim the paper so that you have a ½ inch border around the circle of dough.
Top the pizza with the truffled white sauce, broccoli rabe, shiitake mushrooms, shallots, pepperoncini peppers, sundried tomatoes, and oregano.
Jiggle the pizza peel to ensure that the pizza will come loose. If it’s sticking, carefully lift up the edges and toss in a bit more flour until it seems to loosen from the peel.
Open the oven and with equal measures of care and efficiency, slide the pizza off of the peel and onto the hot stone with a few flicks of your wrist (or just pull a tab of the parchment paper). Close the oven immediately.
Let the pizza cook for 7 minutes. Open the oven and, using the peel, rotate the pizza. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the top crust is browning in spots and you can see some light char on the mushrooms.
Remove the pizza from the oven. Give the pizza a light drizzle of olive oil before slicing and serving.
**This post was created in partnership with Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe. All opinions expressed are my own. Thanks for supporting!
**Last thing! If you’re in the Toronto area, I’ll be doing a completely magical event with Sarah Britton from My New Roots on February 26th (which is also my birthday–come party plz), in celebration of both of our new books! There’s going to be a multi-course meal, pulling inspiration from both of our creations. Biodynamic wine, good food, both cookbooks available for purchase, landscape architecture in a gorgeous gallery space… What more could you want? Added cool thing: my book won’t be released until March 7th, but it will be available for sale at this event! Totally exclusive vibe right there ;) All details and tickets can be found HERE.