Monday, April 16, 2012

Vegan leek miso pesto pizza

There have been a few posts recently from Kelsey, Laura, and Kathryne that have really resonated with me. Their words, soaked with honesty and authenticity. They reminded me of why I started this blog and inspired me to keep on going. Thank you, ladies. With that I thought I'd share a peek into my kitchen with you today (along with a pizza post below!).

We live in a rental apartment so the red, open cupboards came that way. We dream of the day when our cabinets have doors to hide all of our stuff. This is what it looks like when I'm cooking, but it doesn't stay like this long. I'm sort of a neat freak and love a clean kitchen (as does the husband).
Ok enough about me, let's get back to why you're really here. Pizza!

This week's Food Matters Project recipe is a no-work mostly whole wheat pizza dough with toppings. I followed Bittman's dough recipe to a tee—except I cut it in half, since we're just two people—but had some fun with the toppings, like he suggests. Check out the full recipe over at Niki's blog and see what other bloggers made here.
This pesto isn't just any pesto. It's vegan and the cheese is replaced with healthful miso. Miso!? Yes, miso. Miso is an amazing food. It's benefits are endless. I was taught this trick by Chef Kelly in my natural healthy cooking class last fall. It's a great way to add that umami flavor without the dairy.

Miso walnut pesto
Makes almost 1/2 cup
3 c loosely packed basil
1/3 c walnuts
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp miso
juice of 1 lemon
2 T walnut oil
cracked pepper

Pulse the basil, walnuts, and garlic in the food processor until coarsely ground (or you can do this by hand with a mortar & pestle). Put the miso in a small bowl and add the lemon juice. Use a fork to stir and dissolve the miso. Add to the food processor along with the walnut oil. Pulse until smooth or just let it run for a minute or two. Add a hearty grind of cracked pepper.
We went to our CSA cocktail kickoff last week and I grabbed a few of these beauties to take home. I'm excited to go back to the farm this week and load up on more leeks, radishes, bok choy, chard, and other Spring goodies.
Pizza night is great, because the toppings are endless and everyone is happy. I wanted a pizza loaded with veggies and the husband added mozzarella and chicken to his. Halving the dough recipe was perfect for two, as we each got our own personal pizza. We'll definitely be making this pizza dough again. It was little work, tasted delicious, and was done in minutes.

Vegan leek pesto pizza
1 recipe (or half, like I did) for Bittman's dough or this GF alternative
1/2 c miso walnut pesto, recipe above
1.5 tbsp ghee and olive oil (I like to mix both)
2 leeks, rinsed thoroughly and sliced thin
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
2 c kale, rinsed and chiffonaded
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 asparagus stalks, rinsed and chopped small

Make the dough 12 hours before, if you have time. The longer it sits, the better the flavor. I made ours in the morning and let it sit in the windowsill all day.

Preheat the oven to 450. Half the dough and roll out onto an oiled baking sheet. Cover until ready to use.

Add the ghee and olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the leeks. Add a dash of sea salt, pepper, and red chili flakes, stirring well. After five minutes, add the kale. The leeks should be cooked and starting to brown in places. After about 2 minutes, toss in the garlic. Stir well. When you can smell the garlic and notice the kale has reduced in size, remove from heat.

Take a big spoonful of the pesto and spread over the dough. Add a good amount of the leek and kale mixture. Top with asparagus pieces. Feel free to get creative with your own toppings.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool before eating.


Unknown said...

Love how delicious your pizza looks. I used pesto in mine too and have a his, hers photo. How funny! PS I actually like that your apartment kitchen has open shelves, I like seeing everything and not having to open funnies to get stuff, forget to close them, only to bump into it a minute later.

Evi said...

Both of these look delicious. Not sure which one would be the first to be eaten...I'll have to make these!

Jacqui said...

I never thought about adding miso to pesto, I love this idea! I'm not much of a dairy consumer, so I usually take the cheese out of pesto too.

mari said...

I read the top of your post and realized that I go to your blog a lot for cooking inspiration and hope for great recipes and new ideas about food and health, but I've never commented before. So I came here to say thank you for creating this space and sharing.

Kelsey said...

Love your kitchen, Adrienne. Rentals always make us get creative with space, don't you think? I think the red cabinets are fun! Gives it all character. So glad you shared :) -- Also, I'm a miso-monger! I don't do much soy, but I love the chickpea miso from miso master... I will totally try this on our next pizza night.

Lexi said...

A great idea to use miso. I always have it in my fridge so I'll give it a try.

Alyssa @ Everyday Maven said...

I just love how green this is and I bet the miso adds such an interesting flavor!

Jeanine said...

I love everything about this pesto - I'm going to be making that very very soon.

And my his and hers meals often look like yours... no cheese for me, extra cheese for my husband :)

infinitezest said...

this looks amazing! is it really 14 tsp of red pepper flakes or 1/4 tsp? I love how this pizza looks too but would have to make it GF. do you know if miso is? thanks :)

Eileen said...

Miso in a pesto? Very interesting! And I love the cheery red in your kitchen. Even with the open cabinets!

Unknown said...

missmarc - 1/4 tsp red chili flakes, not 14. thank you for pointing that out! miso is gluten free (make sure to double-check the ingredients, since they slip it into everything nowadays).

thanks for all the comments, friends!

Kristen said...

Thanks for the sneak peak into your kitchen! I love seeing "behind the scenes" of other bloggers. You have a beautiful blog and your pizza looks fabulous with your CSA leeks....yum!

Unknown said...

I love the idea of the miso pesto. I am getting some really great ideas from this weeks interpretations

Cookie and Kate said...

Thank you for your kind comments about my post, Adrienne! I love getting a little glimpse into your kitchen, it looks well used. Mine is small, dark and ugly. I am totally intrigued by your miso pesto, I've only begun to explore miso's uses and never would have thought to add it to pesto!

shanna said...

So fun to peek inside someone's kitchen---thanks for the authenticity! Personally, open shelving is something I dream of... along with tons of neatly labeled glass jars and containers. (neat freak here, too) : )

Diann said...

Sounds like a great recipe and I plan to try! I do believe however that ghee is clarified butter so instead of using that I plan on using Health Balance or another non-dairy margarine. Thanks!

Mike said...

Your kitchen is so nice. I always love all the recipes you share with us. Your a amazing cook.

Anonymous said...

I am going to try your crust. It looks fantastic, and I love making homemade pizza. Happy to be following you and your wonderful food blog. See More