Saturday, August 02, 2008

One Vegan Pizza Please

I didn't eat much for dinner last night, some applesauce and raisins is about all. But, I think that might have been a result of the great pizza Kevin and I cooked up for lunch. We have had pizza a couple of times since arriving, and they have been great, really yummy. But, for the most part, they have been a little sparse on the veggies - nothing like the much loved pizzas at La Pizzeria in Brussels. So, not to pull an "I can do better than you can" or anything, but just to please my tummy, we made our own dough yesterday and ended up with a great result.

-500 grams of flour (to be honest my Italian is less than adequete. I did think I was buying whole wheat, but it appears to have been more on the whiter side of things)
-1 package of fast rising yeast (the kind you do not need to feed sugar or honey)
-warm water - although I used to use something remarkably ingenius, called a measuring cup, Kevin decided to break with tradition and suggest we just pour it in until 'it feels right'. (he's lucky - it worked)
-2 teaspoons of salt
-2 tablespoons of olive oil

Topping (of course you can do whatever you liked but we used)
-baby tomatoes
-red onion
-red chili pepper
-3 tablespoons of canned tomatoes
-fresh garlic

I actally let the dough rise twice, and I am unsure if it was the double rising or the mystery dough that made it a bit denser than usual. Either way it was delicious and the toppings, which we roasted up before landing them onto our pizza, were bursting with flavour despite the double broiling. As you can see from the 'action' shot, we are a little low on the baking supplies in our paradise-away-from-soggy-wonderland, and I found myself making the dough inside a largish-pot. Fun, fun, fun.

I used to make pizza dough ALL THE TIME when I lived in Oakville. It was a weekly event, and it usually involved my nieces (on K before K's side) Kate and Sarah, and I would always infuse the dough with fresh herbs and olive bits. I think I might give that another whirl when I am back in my own funky little kitchen, because, it makes such a delicious difference.

There are some great vegan pizza recipes out there, including the Vagrant Vegan's Pizza alla Puttanesca, the music on this YouTube video is not pizza-making friendly (in my humble opinion) but the visual is there for you, and Half Pint Pixie reports of an interesting pizza shop that does a vegan pizza with refried beans.

Living in Belgium we have been quick to note that almost every pizza shop in Italy that we have walked past or popped our heads into has a french fry pizza option. Interesting, but not one that I am up for trying. There are alot of vegan choices for pizza here, though you aren't likely to get them loaded with veg (and there is no chance of getting one covered in refried beans), but, I think having that expectation is taking away from what seems to be the cultural place of pizza in this part of Italy - its uber-light crust and minimalist approach to ingredients make it appear as more of a snack or as one of the many courses at a set meal.

Today leaves us with but one week left in our Italian holiday (we are spoiled brats) and we still have a few things on our holiday check list that we want to get done before pilling back in the car for the achingly long trip home (but all is well, we get to enjoy the stunning views of Switzerland on the ride back).

K & L's still to do list:
1. Rome (Tuesday)
2. Tilentito
3. Waterfall/gorge hike and tofu picnic (Today!)
4. Super Steep hike (maybe Wednesday)
5. Loretto
6. About 10 more recipes.........

Something funny that I noticed last night in the garish bathroom light - this vegan (who is usually the colour of soy milk and despite all attempts to stay out of the sun) is BROWN and covered in more freckles than there are sunflowers in the fields around. Yikes! My kids aren't going to know me when I get back to work in the fall. Yikes.


Abram said...

Hi, that vegan pizza looks yummy. I've never yet gotten around (or had the courage) to make my own pizza dough, though I've made pita, chappati and puri, so I suppose it shouldn't be so scary...

As for the minimalist approach to pizza, as I've heard they do in southern Italy, with just fresh herbs on it, I kinda like that. Lots of veggies, especially roasted ones, are great on a pizza if you want a full meal out of it, but the minimalist herb pizza would make a wonderful snack or side.

And that brings me to this: I admit I'm jealous--not envious, 'cause I don't begrudge you what you're enjoying--but jealous, 'cause I want to do that too. Traipsing around Europe, seeing all the wonderful old buildings and cities, enjoying the variety of cuisine... But reading about it will have to do for now as I'm in no financial shape to travel abroad.

Thanks, by the way, for passing the Brillante award on to me. With the honour, you've also given me some work, work I hope to get to soon. I'll have to find seven others to whom I can pass it.


Alice (in Veganland) said...

Another pizza this way, please!
The eggplant looks specially delicious.

VeganCowGirl said...

Hey Abram, I hear you on the cultural diversity of Hamilton. I miss it so very much sometimes, but Brussels, to be honest, is actually quite diverse - just very different cultural groups.
Your jealousy was toasted tonight over K's amazing fare. We both had a glass for you and Jihan.

Alice - your pizza is on the way! We will be cruising through Germany on the way back to Brussels, I will be sure to pitch it in your direction! :)

Lily said...

What can I say except it looks fantastic and yummy...
I'm not sure I'll be able to do it but I'm sur I can devour it :-P

Penny said...

Gorgeous pizza..especially because it is made in Italy!

VeganCowGirl said...

Thanks Penny and Lily! It was super easy to make and so satisfying.
I don't know if I could ever live without pizza - a perfect veg*n treat that can be done in a million ways to accommodate ALL veg/allergy/ethical needs/wants.
And holycow - it always tastes SO good.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm glad you enjoyed the puttanesca recipe. Yours looks delightfully scrumptious!


Virginia said...

thanks for stopping by my blog! that pizza looks delicious!