Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough with Asparagus, Red Onion, Artichoke, and Pistachios

A couple of my friend’s and I are planning a pizza party later in the month since we’ve all been on a quest to learn how to make good pizza at home. I’ve been making my own pizza for a while now, but it’s always fun to try out new pizza dough recipes. I’m in charge of bringing dough to the party, so I’m trying out a few different recipes to find the best one. First up is Jim Lahey’s No Knead Pizza Dough. Check out his recipe and video. His key to good pizza crust is handling the dough gently and baking at a high temperature.

The recipe says that it makes enough for 4 pizzas, but those would be very small pizzas – good for personal size pizzas. I cut the batch in half and made one normal sized pizza out of the half batch. Like no-knead bread recipes, the dough needs to rise for a long time. I made the dough a day ahead of time and let it rise about 18 hours. I put my pizza stone in the oven and set the oven to preheat to 500°. I tried stretching the dough out like he shows in the video, but my dough turned out fairly sticky and fragile, so I couldn’t stretch it by hand without it breaking. Next time I will try cutting back on the water a little to see if it turns out a little less sticky and easier to work with. I ended up putting the dough on a piece of parchment paper that I drizzled with olive oil. I was able to stretch the dough out on the parchment paper and put toppings on.

Pizza

I tried to gently pick up the parchment paper to place the pizza directly on the pizza stone, but there was no way I was going to be able to transfer it without it sliding off or dropping it. Instead, I slid it onto a metal pizza pan and put that on top of the hot pizza stone in the oven. His recipe calls for baking the pizza for only 3 minutes, however I ended up baking it at 500° for 5 minutes, then lowered the temperature to 450° and baked it for another 10 minutes until it looked done.

Pizza Slice

The bottom of the crust turned out really well. Despite being hard to work with, I think this is the best pizza dough I’ve made at home. It was nice and crispy, but firm enough to hold all the toppings. The edges were still a bit doughy, but good. If I’d been able to stretch it out further, I think the edges would have been crispier as well. I would definitely make this recipe again and play with the amount of water to flour to get a more flexible dough. The toppings were a perfect combo that I will definitely try again. The asparagus, pistachios, red onion, and artichoke went especially well together. Next up, I want to try the pizza recipe from the book The Bread Baker’s apprentice. Do any of you have favorite pizza dough recipes or toppings I should try?

Update: I made this recipe again and it turned out perfectly! If you stick to the exact amount of water in the recipe, it will seem dry as you’re mixing it, but don’t add any extra water. Just keep folding it and it the extra flour will eventually incorporate. This leaves you with a dough that is much easier to stretch out by hand. Stretch the dough into a 6-8 inch round and let it rest for a few minutes, then continue to stretch it out to it’s full size. Place the dough on the pizza stone and pre-bake it for 3-4 minutes. Then take it out and top it and finish baking for 3-4 minutes. This creates a crispy, but still chewy soft crust.

Ingredients:

1/2 batch of Jim Lahey’s No Knead Pizza Dough
10-12 stalks of asparagus
1/2 red onion
2 shallots
4-5 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of shelled pistachios
pepper
salt
dried rosemary
2-3 chopped artichoke hearts

Directions:

  • Prepare the dough ahead of time and let it rise overnight for about 18 hours. Once it’s ready, place your pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°.
  • Snap off the ends of your asparagus and break or cut the stalks into bite sized pieces. Thinly slice the red onion and shallots. Press or mince the garlic. Saute the asparagus, onion, shallots, and garlic in a little olive oil.
  • Stretch out the dough being careful not to put holes in it. If you do, try to patch them up. As I mentioned earlier, I had the best luck stretching the dough out on lightly oiled parchment paper.
  • Top the pizza with the sautéed veggies, pistachios, salt and pepper, dried (or fresh) rosemary, and artichoke hearts.
  • If you can, slide the pizza directly onto the pizza stone. Otherwise, place it on a metal pizza pan and then on the pizza stone like I did.
  • Bake the pizza at 500° for 5 minutes. Lower the temperature to 450° and bake 10 more minutes or until the crust looks golden brown.
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Hurricane Sandy and Vegan Pizza

It’s been a weird week with Hurricane Sandy. There’s still no power at my work office in NYC, so I’ve been out all week and cabin fever is setting in! I finally ventured out today and it was nice not to be stuck inside. Luckily, there was no damage where I am, but it’s sad to see all the photos from New York, Hoboken, the Jersey Shore and all the places that were badly affected by the storm. Hope you all fared ok if you were in the path of Hurricane Sandy!

I wanted to share a tasty meal I made during the storm. I’ve posted about homemade pizza in the past, but I figured I would share this new combo. I bought pizza dough from Trader Joe’s before the storm hit. I sauteed some garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper in vegan butter. I used this as a garlic butter base rather than tomato sauce. Then I topped that with sauteed onions, vegan sausage, fresh slices of cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil. It made for a yummy and quick meal in the midst of all the rain and wind.

The storm left me thinking…how do vegans prepare for emergency situations? We stocked up on vegan granola bars, vegan soups and chili, almond milk, cereal, pasta and sauce, Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks, and all the usuals like water, bread, etc. What do you stock up on when a storm is headed your way? Anyone have any good tips?

Also, keep an eye out for the Virtual Vegan Potluck taking place tomorrow. There should be lots of yummy recipes!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

After a bit of a hiatus, I’ve got some new recipes to share. This weekend I was craving toasted pumpkin seeds. When carving a pumpkin as a kid, rather than throw away the seeds we would save them and toast them in the oven. It makes for a really yummy snack! If you usually just throw the seeds away, consider saving them this year to try out this really simple recipe.

Ingredients:

1 pumpkin
olive oil
salt
pepper
garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°. Cut open the top of your pumpkin like you would normally do to carve a pumpkin. I used a regular serrated kitchen knife and cut a wide circle around the stem.
  2. Scoop out the gooey insides of the pumpkin and separate out the seeds. Place the seeds into a colander and rinse away any extra pumpkin goo. Pat the seeds dry.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil on a baking sheet and spread the seeds out in an even layer on the pan. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other spices you like on the pumpkin seeds. Toss the seeds so they are evenly coated. I decided to keep it simple with the spices I used, but you can get as creative as you like.
  4. Place the pan in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, toss the seeds so they get evenly browned. Toast the seeds for an additional 15 minutes. The seeds are done when they are light golden brown.
  5. Continue carving your pumpkin!

Roasted Red Peppers

There were so many awesome recipes shared during the Virtual Vegan Potluck that it was hard to figure out which ones to try first. This recipe was shared on the blog Bringing Europe Home. I’ve always loved roasted peppers, but had never tried making them myself, so this was good motivation to try it out. It was a pretty easy process and the peppers were really yummy!

Check out the original recipe on Bringing Europe Home. She goes through several methods on how to make these, but I’ll tell you the way I ended up making them.

Ingredients

3 bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
About 10 whole cloves of garlic
Fresh Basil
Fresh Parsley
Dried Italian herbs
3 Tbsp Good Quality Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Baguette

Directions

  • Drizzle some olive oil on a baking pan. Place the three whole bell peppers in the pan along with about 10 whole peeled cloves of garlic. Set your oven to broil, and put the peppers on the top rack of the oven.
  • Check the peppers regularly. They’ll need a few minutes per side. The skin will start to char and turn black. Rotate the peppers as they broil so that each side gets charred and black. Take the peppers out of the oven and let them cool down a bit while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Chop the basil and parsley and place in a medium sized bowl. You can use as much or as little as you want, but I liked having a lot of parsley and basil. Add about 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and dried Italian herbs in the bowl.
  • Once the peppers are cool enough to touch, peel off the charred skin. I just used my fingers to peel it off, but there are some other tricks on the Bringing Europe Home recipe if you want to try them out.
  • Pull out the stem and center of the peppers and remove any seeds. Slice the roasted peppers into strips. Add the pepper strips and whole roasted garlic to the bowl of herbs and olive oil and toss so the peppers get coated.
  • Eat the peppers as they are or slice a baguette and spread the peppers on top. This makes for a really pretty and yummy appetizer!

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Welcome to my contribution to the Virtual Vegan Potluck! This recipe is one that my mom came up with, and it’s one of my favorite recipes of hers. It’s a vegan version of a classic meal.

We often make this when we need to bring a meal to share in real life, so it seemed fitting for the Virtual Vegan Potluck as well. It’s easy to make up a big pan of vegan Shepherd’s Pie and it’s well received by vegans and non-vegans alike.

Be sure to check out the other recipes in the Virtual Vegan Potluck by following the links at the bottom of this post. A special thanks to Annie from An Unrefined Vegan for setting all this up! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Bottom Layer:
1 large yellow onion
2 shallots
1 green pepper
1 cup chopped celery
4 cloves of garlic
olive oil
Two 12 ounce packs of Smart Ground veggie protein crumbles
16 oz of vegan brown gravy
6 oz of tomato paste
garlic powder
salt and pepper
paprika
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, or 1 can of corn
2 cups frozen mixed veggies (corn, carrots, and peas)

Top Layer – Mashed Potatoes
28 oz (or more) Yukon Gold or Honey Gold Potatoes
4 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
garlic powder
salt and pepper
1/2 cup soy milk
1/8 cup Earth Balance vegan butter

Directions:

    • Chop the onion, shallots, green pepper, and celery. Press or mince the garlic. Saute these ingredients in a little bit of olive oil. Add the Smart Ground crumbles and continue to saute.
    • If you are making gravy from a dry mix, follow the directions and make the gravy in a separate pot. My mom uses Streit’s gravy mix. I couldn’t find this, so I used Imagine Vegetarian Wild Mushroom Gravy. Once your gravy is ready, add it to the sauteed veggies and soy crumbles.
    • Add the tomato paste. Stir the mixture while bringing it to a simmer.
    • Add in the frozen vegetables and corn and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender.
    • Season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.
    • Lightly grease a large casserole dish. Pour the veggie and soy crumbles mixture into the dish and set aside.
    • Preheat the oven to 375°.
    • Make a big batch of mashed potatoes. You can make them from a mix to save time, or make them from scratch. To make them from scratch start by boiling your potatoes until they are soft (check them by sticking a fork in to test firmness).
    • Press or mince the garlic and saute it in a little olive oil.
    • Once the potatoes are soft, run them under cold water to cool them down and drain all the water off. The skins will be loose, so you can peel them off pretty easily by hand. Peel all of the potatoes and return them to the pot.
    • Using a potato masher, mash all of the potatoes until smooth. Add the soy milk, vegan butter, garlic, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined.
    • Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the veggie and soy crumble mixture in the casserole dish. The mashed potatoes should completely cover the bottom layer. Brush a little melted vegan butter on top.
    • Bake at 375° until the edges bubble and the mashed potatoes are golden brown on top.
    • And in the words of my mom “Eat. Smile. Keep the leftovers for tomorrow!”
Don’t forget to keep browsing through the Virtual Vegan Potluck! There are many wonderful recipes waiting for you!

Go to the Next Main Course at Tiny Kitchen Stories

Go to the Previous Main Course at The Twenties Project

Start at the Beginning at Vegan Bloggers Unite!

Crispy Soy and Sesame Kale With Toasted Coconut

This recipe originally comes from Heidi Swanson‘s book Super Natural Everyday. My sister made this recipe for us on a visit a while back, and I finally got around to making a batch myself. Of course I made a few changes, as I am known to do.

Kale changes quite a bit when you roast it. The leaves become light and crispy. It’s an odd texture at first, but it really grew on me. The flavor combo is pretty unique too, but it will also grow on you. You’ll soon find yourself craving some toasted sesame soy-saucy kale!

I bought a tub of pre-chopped, pre-washed kale from Whole Foods and that cut down on prep time a lot. I also tried making this recipe with frozen kale, but it doesn’t turn out the same. It was still tasty, but the frozen kale is too wet and doesn’t get crispy like fresh kale does.

Ingredients:

1/4 olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
3 1/2  – 4 cups of chopped kale, lightly packed
1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° and place two racks on the top half of the oven.
  • Prep your kale by removing thick stems and ribs and roughly chopping. Make sure you wash the kale well as it can be sandy. Pat the kale dry after washing to remove excess water.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and garlic in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the kale and coconut to the bowl and toss well until evenly coated with the oil/soy sauce mixture.
  • Spread the kale in an even layer on two baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes, and then check, alternating racks if need be. The kale should be crispy and the coconut should be turning golden brown. I had to leave mine in a bit longer. Once it’s crispy and golden, remove it from the oven, let it cool a little, and enjoy!

Pasta with Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce

One of my favorite quick recipes is “Pasta with Fresh 5-Minute Basil Tomato Sauce” from Sarah Kramer’s book La Dolce Vegan! Vegan Livin’ Made Easy. She has a few different vegan cookbooks, and if you’re vegan you probably already own at least one.

This recipe is really fast, really yummy, and a nice change from regular tomato sauce and pasta. Usually I make it in the summer, but I realized I hadn’t made it in a while and summer is almost over! It went by so fast…


I stick pretty close to her recipe, but do a couple things a little differently. I can’t seem to ever follow recipes exactly! Here’s the way I do it.

Ingredients:
1 package pasta
4 tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh basil tightly packed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Dash of dried (or fresh) oregano

Directions:

  • Boil the pasta.
  • While it’s cooking, chop one tomato and set it aside for later.
  • Finely chop (or press) the garlic and sautee it until golden.
  • In a blender or food processor, blend together the remaining tomatoes, oil, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and oregano until chunky. I recommend putting the tomatoes in the blender last so the other ingredients get chopped and mixed in before the tomatoes turn completely to liquid. The sauce can be a little watery, so if you don’t want that, you can squeeze out the seeds of the tomatoes before blending.
  • Drain the noodles and place in bowls for serving. Add sauce, chopped tomatoes, and a sprig of basil on top.