This is the first recipe that #VeganMarinated is attempting as a... well... vegan. I have to say that being without cheese is probably one of the worst things to have happened to me in recent years. I think about it constantly. My life has become figuring out ways to replace this need in my day-to-day craving. And don’t even say the words “nutritional yeast” because I will just shake my head at you because that stuff smells so disgusting and unnatural and it feels like a big slap in the face to cheese. But yes, I’ve tried Daiya on a pizza before and I actually really like it. Daiya experiments coming soon. But for now, we’re just going to see what we can do without it. 

Pesto is one of my favorite things, but the bummer is that it is usually made with parmesan cheese or something similar. In this recipe, I’m fighting that necessity out of sheer spite and willpower. I think it was successful. Here it goes: 

Vegan Pesto Pizza

Yield: 2-3 servings

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 bag of prepared dough (I love the Trader Joe’s whole wheat kind!)

Flour (for rolling out dough)

1 cup fresh basil leaves 

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

Salt & pepper 

2 tomatoes from the vine

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 

Roll out the dough on a floured cutting board using a floured rolling pin. It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect, just make sure the crust is the same thickness across, about a quarter of an inch. Flour the dough every time it gets too sticky to avoid ruining your masterpiece. Once it’s the appropriate thickness, place on an oiled sheet pan. 

Now for making the pesto! Throw your basil, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, & pepper into the food processor. Pulse until well-combined and thin but not too thin, like this.

You might have to add more olive oil as the food processor...processes. 

Drizzle some olive oil over the rolled out dough. Then spoon out the pesto and spread it evenly over the entire dough, making sure to leave an inch of space at the ends for the crust part! Chop your tomatoes into thin slices and place right on top of the pesto. Last but not least, crack some fresh black pepper all over it. If you don’t care about being vegan, go ahead and add some parmesan cheese (pecorino romano works too). I’ll only be a little upset with you for not supporting the cause. But do what you want, I guess. Whatever. 

Throw your beautiful pizza into the oven for about 15 minutes or until the crust is deliciously golden brown. Serve immediately. I promise guys, you won’t even miss the cheese. The pesto gives the pizza a creaminess that more than compensates for its absence.