12 April 2011

Fusion pizza of the week

So I'm definitely not a vegan (wow, how I love my meat and eggs), but while reflecting on the merits of my doenjang dressing and on the bits and pieces sitting in my fridge, I was inspired to make this pizza, which not only turns out to be pretty tasty, but also has a great balance of protein, veggies, and carbs....and is, I later realized, vegan.

It's kind of quirky--I started craving a thin-crust Italian-style pizza (i.e. the kind you'd actually find in Italy), and ended up with a flavor profile that's totally non-Italian.  But the combination works, and I find it absolutely delicious.  Soft, sauteed Asian and Italian vegetables meld together with thin slices of tofu and that amazing savory doenjang dressing I told you about last time.  And the pizza crust is nice and thin and crispy on the edges, with a few luscious soft spots in the middle of the pie.  Definitely my kind of pizza!

The recipe for the pizza dough comes straight from one of my favorite kitchens in Tuscany, and it makes a great base for any number of toppings.  Feel free to mix and match to your hearts content, but if you do have the ingredients I list below, you should definitely try my version out.  It's just that good.

By the way, there are supposed to be some gorgeous pan-roasted cherry tomato halves scattered all across the pizza, but I didn't get them on there in time for the photos.  And once the tomatoes joined the scene, the pizza got eaten.  That's just the way it goes sometimes!  You won't want to miss out on the tomatoes, as they contribute fantastic tangy bursts of flavor that go really nicely with the rest of the pizza components.

And don't forget to have a little pitcher of the doenjang dressing at the table!  It's so good you'll want to pour on boatloads of that stuff, I believe.

Californitalian Fusion Pizza
Serves 2-4

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
polenta or cornmeal for the pan

2 baby bok choy, rinsed and chopped, stems and leafy parts kept separate
1 cup zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium yellow onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
sea salt
1 1/2 blocks (~8 oz.) tofu, thinly sliced
doenjang dressing

Mix warm water and yeast together in a large mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes until yeast becomes bubbly.  If yeast does not bubble up, discard and start over with fresh yeast.  Add flour and sprinkle salt over, mix together with a wooden spoon until dough forms.  Drizzle hands with olive oil and knead dough in the bowl for a few minutes to develop the gluten.  Form dough into a ball, coat with a little more olive oil, then cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Sprinkle a large (12-inch by 18-inch) rimmed baking sheet with a small handful of polenta or cornmeal, then stretch dough out to fit the pan.  Let dough rest in pan for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare the toppings.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat and lightly coat with olive oil.  Saute zucchini until golden brown, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Saute the onions until caramelized, then add to the zucchini.  Add the leafy parts of the bok choy directly to the bowl, and saute the bok choy stems until crisp-tender.  Add to the bowl of vegetables and toss them all together, seasoning with salt to taste.  Finally, pan-roast the cherry tomato halves until skins are blistering and tomatoes are hot; sprinkle with salt and set aside.

To assemble the pizza, spread about 1/2 cup of the doenjang dressing over the dough, then evenly distribute half of the tofu pieces, followed by all of the veggies (except for the tomatoes), followed by the rest of the tofu.  Drizzle with a little more doenjang dressing.

Bake at 420 F for 20 minutes (or longer, depending on how dark you like your crust).  Sprinkle with tomatoes and serve with extra doenjang dressing at the table.


The Church Cook said...

LOVE this, Erica! Wish we can take this pizza and bake in our earthen oven! Well, c'mon over! :)

erica said...

Oh, sounds wonderful Kay! You know, the first time I tasted this pizza crust recipe, it was coming out of a wood-burning stone oven...so your earthen oven sounds perfect! I'd love to hear more about the oven sometime :)

Young Adventures... said...

Erica I wanted to let you know that I just opened a jar of apricot jam (the recipe you posted quite awhile back). It was wonderful, even my husband who isn't crazy about apricots or jam for that matter loved it! Thanks for sharing this recipe! The pizza looks great too.

erica said...

Hi Rachel! I'm thrilled to hear you're enjoying the apricot jam! :)

Susan Lindquist said...

Love the name of your pizza! haha! I also love the influences that morph their way into new dishes ... we eat pizza every weekend and are always making versions from what we've had during the week. Yours looks delish! The addition of the dressing/dipping sauce is genius!

erica said...

Susan, what a nice weekend tradition! Yes, isn't pizza a great way to pull leftovers together into something fun and tasty?

Unknown said...

I have never heard of doenjang on a pizza. But what a creative idea! Sounds delicious.

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