Mmmm, bruschetta! I made a bowl of it with some garden-fresh tomatoes a few weeks ago and was instantly hooked. Before I knew it, I’d flown through four batches of the stuff! Around the same time, I spotted a bruschetta pizza whilst browsing the vegan pizza tag on tumblr, and…well, you do the math.
As much as I love fresh bruschetta served on sourdough bread toasted with margarine and vegan parmesan, it’s even better on pizza. (DUH!, some/most of you are probably thinking.) I changed the original recipe (inspired by none other than Olive Garden!) up a bit, adding a little extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar so I’d have more juices with which to coat the pizza. I also threw in a few extra tablespoons of sundried tomatoes for an extra-rich tomato flavor.
Pro tip: use sundried tomatoes marinated in olive oil. Refrigerate the jar prior to making the bruschetta, so that you can pull out some congealed oil with the tomatoes. It makes all the difference, giving the dough a deep, rich, almost buttery taste. SO GOOD.
While I layered some Daiya cheese under the bruschetta, you can omit it for a healthier pie. The homemade vegan parm, which is made primarily of nuts (walnuts or almonds) and nutritional yeast, is super-healthy and easy to make. Give it a try, before you know it you’ll be putting it on all the things!
Bruschetta Pizza with Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese
…for a medium-thin dough
2 cups flour
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon yeast
2/3 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
…for the bruschetta
2 cups tomatoes, finely diced
3 tablespoons diced marinated sun-dried tomatoes (including the oil)
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil (OR 1 teaspoon dried basil)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
…for the pizza
Mozzarella Daiya cheese (or the vegan cheese of your choice); optional
Vegan parmesan (see recipe below)
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan
1. At least four hours before making the pizza, prepare the bruschetta. In a medium bowl, combine the fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Cover and chill. Remove from the fridge about a half hour before you begin assembling the pizza.
2. Several hours prior to making the pizza, prepare the dough. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, and water; mix until completely blended. Add the salt and olive oil and mix well. Add the flour in stages (about 1/2 cup at a time) and mix until the flour forms into dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough by hand and shape into a ball. Cover loosely with a towel and leave the dough to rise, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.
3. When you’re ready to assemble and bake your pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
4. To assemble the pizza, start by spreading a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.
5. Carefully drain the liquid from the bowl of bruschetta; pour it into a bowl or mug. Spoon the liquid onto the dough a teaspoon at a time, spreading it evenly over the pie. When you’re done, the entire surface of the dough should be covered in a very thin (we’re talking millimeters!) layer of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Set any leftovers aside; if you have any bruschetta left, you can return it to its sauce!
6. If desired, add a very thin layer of mozzarella cheese (you don’t want ti overdo it!), followed by most – if not all – of the (drained) bruschetta. (The recipe above makes enough to cover a 13″ pizza.) Top with a light sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese.
7. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas. Enjoy!
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup walnuts OR 1/2 cup almonds
1 teaspoon olive oil
A dash of salt
1. In a food processor, combine the nutritional yeast and nuts and pulse until well-blended. The nuts should be reduced to smallish particles, though not as powdery as the nooch flakes. Add the olive oil and salt and pulse until blended.
2. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.