Meatless Monday: Vegan Pizza Time!

This entry was posted on Oct 24, 2016 by Charlotte Bell.

meatless monday

My backyard tomatoes are no longer ripening on the vine. But they’re in no danger of freezing, so I’m still picking them fresh.

Because they’re still sweet, I prefer not to make them into sauce just yet. So I decided to make a dinner pizza this week with kale/basil pesto as the base, and put the tomatoes on top. The slight roasting they get as the pizza cooks makes the tomatoes even that much sweeter.

You can use any kind of pesto as a base. Here’s a vegan version I published a few weeks ago. I used the kale/basil pesto on this pizza because it was freshly made right before I started on the pizza. I’ve included the recipe below.

I prefer to sauté onions before I put them onto pizza. Sautéeing deepens their flavor and takes the edge off. I’ve also found that they cook more uniformly if you sauté them first.

Now for the crust: While I’m fond of working with yeast, there are some excellent pizza doughs out there. Using a premixed crust shaves an hour off the process. I generally don’t go for the crusts that are already pressed into a pizza shape. They’re not nearly as good as the ones that you roll out yourself. For today’s pizza, I used a dough from Essential Baking Company.

Meatless Monday: Vegan Pizza with Kale/Basil Pesto and Brandywine Tomatoes

  • pizza dough for 12″ to 15″ pizza
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup pesto (any pesto will do, but you can use the recipe below if you like)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced in thin half moons
  • 15 kalamata olives, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, cut in half and sliced thinly (I used Brandywines because they’re especially sweet)
  1. If you’re using frozen dough, follow the instructions for thawing. Sprinkle cornmeal onto a 12″ to 15″ pizza pan. You can also sprinkle some cornmeal onto the pizza dough to make it less sticky as you work with it. Roll the dough out onto a pizza pan. Don’t worry if it’s not a perfect circle or rectangle.
  2. Heat the oil in a small sauté pan and add the onions. Cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Spread the pesto over the crust, leaving a border of an inch or so.
  4. Arrange the tomatoes over the crust, then fit the olives in between the slices. Top with the onions.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees (or whatever your dough package suggests) for 12-15 minutes.

Kale/Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cups chopped kale (I used Lacinato kale from my garden)
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon mellow white miso

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until it becomes a thick paste. To save, put spoonfuls into an ice cube tray. When frozen, remove the pesto cubes and place them in a freezer container to enjoy all winter long.


About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.

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