I can already hear my skeptic friends tell me that if there’s a vegetable in the crust and no cheese on top it is most definitely not a pizza. But I like to think otherwise, especially when the said pizza is that good.
I’ve been making this recipe often lately and it’s become a favourite around the house. I’m so excited I can finally pass it on to you! All the credit goes to the mother/daughter duo behind the popular plant-based blog Golubka Kitchen and their brilliant cookbook, Simply Vibrant: All-Day Vegetarian Recipes for Colorful Plant-Based Cooking.
Before telling you about the pizza itself, let me tell you about this cookbook. Because you guys, it’s one you’ll want to add to your shelves. I love collecting cookbooks, but the truth is there are always a handful that I keep on coming back to all the time. Simply Vibrant has been one of those for me since I got it a few months ago.
Anya Kassoff is the culinary brain behind the recipes, while her daughter Masha brings them to life through her gorgeous photography. This is their second cookbook after The Vibrant Table (published in 2014). The book is beautifully packed with colourful, vibrant vegetarian recipes, that emphasize on cooking through the seasons. Most recipes you will find in there are vegan and many are gluten-free (or offer a gluten-free alternative).
The recipes are brilliant, creative, and always surprise with a unique twist, smart idea or unusual flavour combination. This is one of the many things I love most about this book. If I feel uninspired or bored in the cooking department, I know flipping through its pages will instantly bring the excitement back. This book is truly a gem; it will inspire you to eat more vegetables, cook with what’s in season, and get creative in the kitchen. I’ve got so many recipes bookmarked that I have yet to try. Here are a few very enticing ones from around the web to give you a peak of what’s waiting for you inside: this gorgeous millet polenta, these mouthwatering brownies, these creamy savoury oats and the perfect chocolate cake.
Now the pizza.
It has everything I’m looking for in a good homemade pizza: veggie-packed, easy to make, both vegan and gluten-free, with a great texture, easy to adapt and most importantly super tasty.
Anya originally tops her pizza with an ingenious carrot top chimichurri, but I went with parsley here, which is the traditional way of making chimichurri.
This pizza is so perfectly balanced, from the sweetness of the sweet potato crust, to the smoky flavour of the roasted eggplant, the juiciness of the bell pepper, and the punch of the garlicky chimichurri. I’ll surely double the recipe next time because the only downside is it’s always gone way too fast.:)
Recipe from Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff. Copyright © 2018. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Random House Canada. Buy her brilliant book here, or visit her equally brilliant blog here. Please note that this post contains affiliate links.
Notes: Feel free to adapt this recipe and sub any vegetable you like for the toppings. I’ve made this pizza with zucchini instead of eggplants and it was just as delicious. But don’t skip the chimichurri here, it really compliments the pizza to perfection.
Sweet Potato Crust Pizza with Roasted Eggplants, Bell Pepper & Chimichurri
makes one 10-inch pizza
For the toppings
- 1 medium eggplant sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into quarters, seeds removed
- 2 tbsp cooking oil (avocado, coconut, etc.) divided
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cloves from 1 head garlic unpeeled
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
For the chimichurri
- 1 bunch fresh parlsey stems removed
- 1-2 garlic cloves (or to taste) chopped
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the crust
- 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato* (about 1 medium or 2 small)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (100 g.) plus 1 tbsp oat flour or buckwheat flour (or other flour of your choice)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp cooking oil (avocado, coconut, etc.) divided
To prepare the toppings
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.
Arrange the eggplant and pepper slices on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with 1 tablespoon of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and mix with your hands to coat. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer, transfer them to the oven, and roast for 20 minutes.
Flip the vegetables, arrange the garlic cloves in between, and roast for another 15 minutes, until the eggplant is golden and soft and the pepper and garlic are tender when pricked with a knife.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and keep the oven on. Peel the roasted garlic and place it in a small bowl. Mash the garlic with a fork, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, a small pinch of salt, and a couple grinds of black pepper, and mix well. Set aside. Slice the pepper into thin strips.
To make the chimichurri
In a food processor or blender, combine the parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste. Pulse into a chunky puree. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil and continue blending until everything is well incorporated.
Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more garlic, salt or pepper flakes, as needed. Transfer the chimichurri to an air-tight jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To make the crust and bake the pizza
Combine the mashed sweet potato, minced garlic, salt, pepper, flour, baking powder, apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a food processor. Pulse to combine, scraping the sides if needed. You should end up with a soft and sticky dough.
Coat the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron skillet with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Scrape the dough into the skillet and use oiled hands to spread it out in an even layer. Push some of the dough slightly up the sides of the pan to create a border.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Spread the mashed garlic over the crust with a fork. Arrange the eggplant and pepper slices on top and sprinkled with the paprika. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until the crust is golden and the vegetables are heated through.
Remove the skillet from the oven, let it cool slightly, and slide the pizza onto a cutting board. Slice and serve the pizza topped with chimichurri.
*Steam or boil the sweet potato until completely soft, or prick with a fork and bake it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Once cooked, mash with a fork and measure out 1 cup, reserving any excess for another dish.