Here’s an interesting take on pizza – raw vegan style!
This recipe hails from my raw vegan days when I was invited to a raw vegan pizza tasting. Everything was delicious and healthy, BUT, the “pizza crusts” were a laborious ordeal. I’d never, ever make them myself.
Then I got an idea. I got a brilliant, lazy, delicious idea! I decided to use dried eggplant for the crust. And it came out perfect!
I have made these with cashew cheese and a tomato sauce instead, both are delicious. You can decide which some you want to do.
Pizza Crust and Sauce
This pizza crust uses about 1/2 large eggplant and makes about 8-9 mini pizzas. It’s enough for two servings.
– 1/2 large eggplant
– 1 mushroom
– 1/4 cup red onion
– 1 garlic clove
– 3 sprigs fresh dill
– 4 Campari tomatoes (or 2 plum tomatoes)
1) The first step is to make the crust by removing the skin from the eggplant and slicing 10 pieces about 1/8 inch thick using a knife or a mandolin slicer.
2) Next, mix all the other ingredients except for the eggplant together in a blender or small food processor and process until smooth.
3) Place the eggplant slices in a large bowl (you can overlap them) and pour the mix over them. Make sure both sides of the eggplant have sauce on them. Marinate in the refrigerator for about one hour.
4) After the eggplant has marinated, remove the the slices from the refrigerator and place them in the dehydrator on teflex sheets or parchment paper and set to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the eggplant with the marinade sauce. Save a little of the sauce for applying it to the other side later. Dehydrate for one hour.
5) Flip the eggplant crust over and add the rest of the sauce to the other side and dehydrate for another 6 hours. You’ll want to rotate the trays after about 4 hours so they dehydrate evenly.
6) The crust is done when it is crispy. If you’re not going to eat it right away, make sure you put it into the refrigerator so that it stays crispy, otherwise, the crust will be slightly leathery, which isn’t bad at all and you might prefer it this way.
* Depending on the make and model of your dehydrator, drying times will vary. I recommend using an Excalibur dehydrator set to about 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Pizza “Cheese” (optional)
This is a cashew nut-based cheese. It’s easier to make up a batch than to only make two servings for this recipe. You can store the rest of it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
– 1 cup soaked cashews
– 1/3 cup filtered water
– dash of salt
– 2 tablespoons cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
– juice from one lime
1) Soak the cashews for 8 hours.
2) Put all the ingredients in the food processor except for the water. Mix for a couple of seconds.
3) Add half of the water, blend, then test the consistency. You don’t want to add too much water and make the cheese too runny. I consider my cheese done when it is just creamy enough that when I put some on a spoon and turn it sideways, it slowly falls off. You can make it as creamy, smooth, thick or thin as you want. Add more water to make it thinner and creamier, less water to make it thicker with more body.
If you will not be eating it right away, make it extra creamy as it will thicken up in the refrigerator.
Assembling The Pizza
You can add any toppings you like, but I typically start by spreading a thin layer of cashew cheese, tomato sauce, or salsa on the eggplant crust. Then I add a couple of thinly sliced pieces of avocado. Add a layer of thinly sliced mushrooms and top it off with a sun-dried tomato.
Eat and enjoy!