• Janki T. Patel, PharmD

Grilled Margherita Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella

Pizza. One of the most liked foods in the world. Here is my twist on this classic italian dish made vegan. It's required to make this while listening to"That's Amore" by Dean Martin. ;) Chin Chin!

Total Serving: 4 medium pizzas

Total Time: 6 hours

Ingredients: For the crust: 4 cups double zero soft wheat flour

3 tsp of salt 2 tBsp yeast 2 tBsp olive oil

1 cup warm water

For the sauce:

1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes

2 tBsp tomato paste

1 tBsp olive oil

2 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly cracked pepper

2 cloves of garlic finely minced

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 tBsp maple syrup

~1/2 cup of corn flour for dusting

For the Mozzarella 1 cup almond milk unsweetened and unflavored

1/2 cup of soaked & drained raw cashews

4 tBsp of tapioca starch

2 tsp salt

1 clove of diced garlic

2 tBsp of squeezed lemon juice

2 tBsp of nutritional yeast

For the Toppings:

2 cups of baby tomatoes thinly sliced

2 cups of whole basil leaves

Directions: 1) Combine soft wheat flour and salt into a mixing bowl and set aside.

2) In a separate bowl, combine the luke warm water and yeast. Allow the yeast to bloom for ~5 min.

3) Pour the yeast and water mixture into the flour mixture until loosely combined.. Use the pincer method to further mix the dough.

4) On a flat surface, knead the dough and roll it out into a log. Cut the dough into four equal sizes to create four pizza crusts. Shape each cut into a round ball.

5) Lightly grease the surface of each ball of dough with olive oil and cover with a cloth. Allow the dough to rise in a warm area for approximately 4-6 hours.

6) In the meantime, make the fresh mozzarella sauce by incorporating all ingredients into a blender and blend until thoroughly combined.

7) Add the mozzarella mixture into a small pot over a low-medium heat and continuously stir until the liquid becomes thicker with a rue-like consistency. Set aside. This will continue to slightly thicken as it cools.

8) For the sauce, over medium heat, combine the oil and garlic in a pot. Allow the garlic to flavor the oil and brown slightly. Then, add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Keep this on a low simmer for about 5 minutes to allow all the flavors to infuse. Take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

9) Now, time the roll the crusts! Sprinkle some corn flour on a large flat surface and more over the top of the pizza to prevent it from sticking. Roll out the dough by creating a thin center and slightly thicker outer edge.

11) Make sure the crust is able to be transferred from the rolling surface onto the cast iron pan.

12) Heat the grill to approximately 580-700°F (260-371°C).

13) Slide the rolled crust onto the cast iron and place the pan on the grill. Allow the crust to cook for ~1 min before adding the sauce, mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil leaves.

14) Once all toppings are on, cover the grill and allow the pizza to finish cooking. The bottom of the crust will crispen, the sauce will heat through, and you'll notice a beautiful browning on top of the mozzarella. When this happens, take it off the grill and slide onto a serving platter to be cut. Optional: *Crushed red pepper

*Dried oregano

*EVOO drizzled over top

*Thinly sliced jalepeño peppers

*Any vegan mozzarella cheese of choice can be substituted. But this fresh mozzarella is just perfection.

*Any store bought red sauce can be used. May I recommend, Rao's pizza sauce. It is absolute deliciousness in a jar (not sponsored).

Notes: *The flour can be substituted for baking flour or regular all purpose flour. *In this recipe, I used Antico Mulino's soft wheat flour (not sponsored). *Any plant milk of choice can be used for the mozzarella as long as it is unsweetened and unflavored (important). Also make sure it's on the creamier side versus a more watery consistency. For example, cashew or soy milk would be ideal alternatives.

*The tomato sauce does not have to include the maple syrup. I added it for that little touch of sweetness to balance out the acidity from the tomatoes.