It used to be that having a pizza meant using toppings that included tomato sauce, pepperoni smothered in lots of mozzerella cheese. Somewhere along the line we realized that you can actually put pretty much anything you like on top of a pizza and people have been making vegetarian pizzas for a long time. So forget about the meats and cheese and make a vegan pizza. Without the cheese, this pizza was very light and refreshing tasting. I used the vegetables suggested in the recipe (except I had a yellow pepper and green olives), but you could certainly make some changes or substitutions if you had other vegetables on hand. I didn't use tomato sauce, I just added some of my own canned tomatoes which I had chopped up. The base wasn't as saucy as it might have been perhaps, but I didn't think it affected the flavour at all. I used the spinach from my garden, but I didn't have a whole cup of it, so I just spread it around on the top, as though it were fresh basil. I spread a bit of corn meal over the baking sheet to help keep the pizza dough from sticking
You can certainly make your own pizza dough if you prefer, but I cheated and bought some fresh dough from the grocery store. Add a green salad and this makes for a quick, healthy dinner.
This recipe is from The Get Healthy, Go Vegan cookbook by Neal Barnard, MD. and Robyn Webb.
Eggplant, Artichoke, Red Pepper and Black Olive Pizza
2 cups chopped eggplant
1 cup tomato sauce
Pinch of crushed red peppers
Pinch of sugar
1 pizza dough
1 cup tightly packed spinach
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1/4 cup red onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pitted and quartered black olives
1. In a medium non-stick skillet, bring 2 tbsp water to a simmer. Add the eggplant and cook until water evaporates, approximately 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, crushed red pepper, and sugar. Continue to cook until eggplant is soft, about 7 minutes. Cool.
2. Preheat oven to 500F.
3. Gently press pizza dough out to fit your pan. (I use a regular baking sheet). Cover pizza dough with eggplant sauce, then top with spinach, bell pepper, artichoke hearts, onion, and black olives. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.