Looks like it’s a good time now to have some vegetarian dishes as it is Lenten season where Catholics around the world are observing abstinence and in some cases fasting during Wednesdays and Fridays. As a rule for those who does not know Good Friday and Ash Wednesday are the major days observing this rule, and it only applies for those who are in between the ages of 14 – 60 for abstinence and 18 – 60 for fasting years. Abstinence in this context means that there should be no meat on those specified days but if you really want to eat meat then you should substitute it with some form of penance.
But abstaining from eating meat does not mean you don’t have to eat a good meal and in fact there are a lot of good pure vegetarian dishes around and one of it is this the vegetarian pizza. The first time I tried it was when I was working in a company where our directors are all vegetarians, all of the food consumed on any corporate sponsored event should be vegetarian and that was the first time I tried different good vegetarian dishes such as lasagne and pizza. So for this post I will be making some vegetarian pizza that a meat lover like me would love, I hope
Ingredients (Pizza Crust)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/3 cup water, Warm
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry oregano leaves
1 cup water, cold
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup for dusting
1 1/2 tbsp corn oil
1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup cornmeal (or ground corn chips)
olive oil for greasing the pan
3 vine tomatoes, sliced
1 medium sized aubergine, sliced
handful of spinach leaves
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
4 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1. Mix yeast and 1 tsp sugar on warm water, set aside until very bubbly.
2. Now combine the rest of the ingredients for the crust but using only 1 1/2 cup of flour with the yeast mixture. Mix with a spatula until it forms a batter.
3. Now slowly add the remaining flour and start kneading in a floured surface (don’t knead the dough too much that the texture is tough)
4. Now place it in a big greased bowl and cover it with a cling wrap, make sure it will handle twice the size of the dough. Place in a warm location (I usually place it in an oven preheated to 60C then turned off) for around 45 minutes or until it doubled the size.
5. Once doubled, remove from container, deflate and continue to knead, flatten using a rolling-pin make sure the thickness is no greater than 5mm, place it in a well-greased pan, brush with oil and dust with corn meal.
6. Mix the tomato puree with minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Set aside
7. Place your toppings brushing the dough with olive oil initially, then with the tomato puree mix, then placing cheddar and mozzarella cheese and finishing it with the remaining ingredients. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
8. Place in a preheated over at 230C for 20 to 25 minutes.