It’s been a tumultuous year so far*, so we’ve been eating a lot of lovely things to make up for it. I’m going to try and ease back into writing here by yammering on about it all. Boy oh boy aren’t you glad to see me again?
This up there is the pizza I’ve been making at least once weekly for several months now. It’s easy, delicious, and there isn’t a single person (vegan or not) who ate their share that didn’t fall in love with it. So there is that.
I’m going to admit the flavor pairings might sound odd at first. My mom is the one who suggested adding kimchi on top of pizza. At first I must have said something akin to “What did you put in your coffee today?” but when I tried it, I was entirely sold. My bad for being a doubter. No pizza for me.
What I’m giving here are more general directions than an actual recipe. Which is simply because I’ve never actually measured anything, since the quantity of stuff will depend on how thick you want your crust and how spicy your mouth likes it. I use a garlicky, herb-y dough for this and it adds an extra layer of awesomeness to the whole crusty shebang. The neat thing is you can use all homemade ingredients, or go with store-bought instead depending on how pressed for time you are. I’ve done it both ways and it turns out excellent no matter what.
*In order to keep vague-blogging at bay, here’s the gist. If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that my mom fell and broke her hip towards the end of her vacation with us. After a rough time being hospitalized, she spent an extra 3 months here with our cats heavily monitoring her recovery. “Meow can do eet!” She isn’t back to her usual self yet but is working damn hard at it despite facing even more health-related challenges. Seriously, 2017.
1 pound (454 g) favorite vegan pizza dough
Vegan cream cheese, cashew-based or other
Vegan kimchi (spicy or mild), drained (reserve liquid for other recipes) and thinly chopped
Optional garnishes to be added pre-baking: Cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion or shallot rings
Optional garnishes to be added post-baking: Thinly sliced scallion, chopped fresh chives, drizzle toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds
If your pizza dough is refrigerated, be sure to bring it back to room temperature before getting started. I find that the cream cheese is also easier to spread once at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7).
Once the dough is at room temperature, lightly flour a baking sheet. I personally prefer making this into two separate pizzas because Chaz and I have different schedules and rarely eat at the same time. Work the lightly floured dough into two approximately 8-inch (20 cm) circles or semi-circles, or a single approximately 12-inch (30 cm) circle. Note that you can aim for a thinner or a thicker crust if you prefer, which will affect the cooking time of course.
Spread a thin layer of harissa all over the dough, all the way to the edges. Don’t be too generous thickness-wise unless your mouth likes it that way: it’s not marinara you’re working with.
Apply a moderately thin layer of cream cheese on top, again all over the dough. Sprinkle a fair quantity of kimchi all over the dough. Don’t be too heavy-handed as you want the dough to cook well and not be soggy. Add pre-baking garnishes if using.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown, let stand a couple of minutes before serving. Add post-baking garnishes if using. Eat, eat, eat.
Yield: 2 to 4 servings, depending on appetite