In last weekend’s Burger vs. Pizza poll on Facebook (deciding which would be the recipe posted on Monday), the Vegan Buffalo Burger narrowly came out on top. But there is no need to be disappointed for the pizza lovers because here is already the runner-up: my Vegan Pepperoni Pizza.
Pepperoni Pizza seems to be consistently near the top of lists with favorite comfort foods. And it’s understandable – take a crust, throw pepperoni and cheese on top, bake, done. So simple. However what can you do when you want it meatless and dairy-free? Having a good vegan cheese is one thing. The other is how to capture the pepperoni style? Of course one can go and try to find some ready-made vegan sausage, slice it and be done. Fair enough, but that’s not what I wanted to do here.
Instead I was looking for a homemade plant-based option. I found it in using thin zucchini slices that I marinated overnight in a spicy hot sauce mix. I used, for example, sambal ulek – a raw chili paste – and a bit of tamari, and balsamic vinegar. It depends a bit on just how spicy you like your zucchini-“Pepperoni” (or “zucchironi”?!?) In fact, I also put the mix in the oven at medium temperature for a couple of minutes before I stored the zucchini-“Pepperoni” in the fridge – but I’m sure this is not essential. Just keeping it marinated will do.
Preparing the pizza is then – again – straightforward. I like to use a simple dough for the crust, combining gluten-free flour, water, baking powder, a pinch of salt, and olive oil. Spread a bit of tomato paste on top before you cover it with the marinated zucchini-“Pepperoni” slices. If you are really brave (or crazy), you can use some of the spicy marinade and mix it with the tomato paste for an extra spice punch. Finish off with the vegan cheese and bake for 12-15 minutes in the oven. What you get is a fierce Vegan Pepperoni Pizza unlike any you ever had before.
- 8 oz (250 g) gluten-free flour
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- pinch salt
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 2 zucchini
- hot sauce
- 2 Tbs tamari
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- vegan cheese
- Wash and thinly slice the zucchini.
- In a baking dish, mix hot sauce with tamari and balsamic vinegar. Add the zucchini and mix, so that they are covered well.
- Cover and marinate over night in the fridge.
- Pro-tip: Put the spiced zucchini in the oven and bake at medium heat (320°F/160°C) for 10-15 minutes before storing in the fridge.
- Give all ingredients for the dough to a bowl and knead well. You should have a slightly moist but sticky dough. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
- Form the pizza crust by spreading the dough.
- Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C).
- Spread the tomato paste on top of the crust. Add the marinated spicy zucchini slices. Top off with vegan cheese. You can of course use as much as you like.
- Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
The Vegan Pepperoni Pizza Elsewhere
- Vegan Family Recipes – 20 Vegan Pizza Recipes That Carnivores Will Love – October 5, 2015