Vegan Margherita Pizza
The ultimate summertime treat, classic Margherita pizza is the most basic of all pizzas but so delicious if you use fresh, good quality ingredients. Vegan Margherita Pizza takes the concept a bit further with a few extra embellishments, but still retains its simple delicious flavors!
½ recipe Basic Vegan Pizza Dough
3 to 4 medium-size tomatoes, slice ¼ inch thick
⅓ cup chopped pitted black olives (preferably oil-cured)
¾ cup chopped artichoke hearts (not marinated)
½ cup firm silken tofu, dice into small pieces
¼ cup thinly sliced basil leaves (or more to taste)
freshly ground pepper
Makes 8 slices
Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C) for at least 30 minutes before baking your pizza (the pizza stone should be on the lowest rack position in your oven). Dust your pizza peel with flour or corn meal, and set aside.
On a floured surface, roll out dough and shape. Fold dough over once or twice, place on prepared peel, and unfold. Arrange the tomatoes onto the dough in concentric circles, followed by the olives, artichoke hearts, and tofu.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Scatter the basil over the surface and season with pepper to taste.
Margherita Pizza History
In 1889, Queen Margherita and her husband, Umberto I, took an inspection tour of her Italian Kingdom. During her travels around Italy she saw many of her people eating this large, flat bread. The queen, on sampling one of these pizza breads, loved it and would eat it every time she would visit her people. This was distressing for many within the Court circles as it was perceived as 'unroyal-like' for a Queen to dine on peasant's food.
Regardless, the queen loved the bread and summoned Chef Rafaelle Esposito from his pizzeria to the royal palace. The queen ordered him to create a selection of pizzas for her pleasure. In respect of the queen, Rafaelle decided to make a very special pizza in her honor. This pizza was topped with tomatoes, mozarella cheese, and fresh Basil, symbolic of the colors of the Italian flag (red, white, and green).
This became Queen Margherita's favorite pizza which endeared her even more so with the Italian people. This started a culinary tradition, the Pizza Margherita, which has now spread world wide.
Great Vegan Alternatives to Cheese:
- Fresh Bread Crumbs
- Crumbled tofu
- Crumbled tempeh
- Cooked beans, lightly mashed
- Chopped nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, slivered almonds, etc)