• Rolling in the Deep-Dish with The Sexy Vegan

    June 17th, 2011recipes

    Hello, people! Sexy Vegan, here. I didn’t really eat that many vegetables as a kid, unless you count pizza sauce. My mom didn’t really like to cook, so the majority of my childhood diet consisted mainly of pizza, and pizza related items. Cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, cheesesteak pizza, garlic knots, and don’t even get me started on stromboli. We had all the local pizza joints on speed dial. Remember when home phones had that list of buttons you could program? Remember home phones? I’m glad we never had any type of emergency requiring us to hit the 911 speed dial button, because we would have heard, “Claudio’s, what can I getcha?” on the other end.

    There is one pizza, however, that has managed to elude me during my first 33 years of existence: Deep Dish. Having never been to Chicago, I’ve not had the delight of indulging in a true deep-dish pizza. And I suppose if I went to Chicago now, coming by a vegan one, would be a herculean task. So I thought I’d take a stab at making my own…and if Chicago’s is half as good as this one, then I think they’ve got a future in the deep-dish pizza industry. All you need for this recipe is a 6 inch cast iron skillet, some vegan cheese, and a Trader Joe’s. The cheeze I used here is my own “Not-zzarella Cheeze” which consists mainly of cashews and silken tofu, and is a recipe you will find in my book. Yes, I have written a cookbook, but there is no release date yet. All I know is that the world is supposed to end TWICE before it comes out.

    O.k. on to the recipe:

    1/3 lb fresh pizza dough from Trader Joe’s (they come in 1 lb. portions, so cut off 1/3 of it)
    1 1/2 cups Trader Joe’s Eggplant Caponata (no, Trader Joe’s is not paying me, they’re just so darn convenient)
    4 stalks asparagus, trimmed
    Some vegan cheese
    a little fresh chopped parsley or basil for garnish
    couple pinches of parmesan topping (a recipe that will also be in the book)
    olive oil

    Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out the pizza dough to about a 10 inch diameter. Add a generous amount of oil to the pan and rub it all around the inside surface. Also brush the top of the pizza dough with olive oil…because why not? Place dough in the oiled pan so that the outer edges of the dough come about half way up the side. And press it firmly in place. Pile in the caponata. If you don’t have the caponata, simply take 2 1/2 cups of whatever mix of veggies you like (eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, onions, olives, etc.), sautee them until soft, and toss with some pizza sauce. Not exactly a caponata, but it will do the trick. Bake it for 40 minutes.

    Quickly blanch your asparagus in boiling water for about 20 seconds, then cool immediately in an ice bath and pat dry. When the 40 minutes are up, take the pizza out (Warning: That cast iron gets super fucking hot! Burnt my hand right through the pot holder…so double up!), spread fake cheese on top, and artfully arrange the asparagus in a “wheel spoke” type of formation. Place it all under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and asparagus is browned. Garnish with the herbs and fake parm. Let it sit for a few minutes, then you can scoop your pizza out with a spatula or something, and cut it into quarters. I recommend waiting even a few more minutes before consuming, because I also burnt the roof of my mouth on it. Enjoy!

    for more of the sexy vegan, visit his website and follow him on twitter! also, check out this other awesome recipe post he did…..onion ring encrusted onion rings! it will blow your mind. can’t wait for his book to come out!

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8 responses to “Rolling in the Deep-Dish with The Sexy Vegan” RSS icon

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    Your pizza looks delicious!! Thanks for the recipe.
    After seeing this post, I suddenly need to have vegan pizza for lunch today, hehe.

  • Been there, done that with the cast iron pan. C’est la vie.

    Recipe sounds great. I’ll have to give it a shot.

  • That doesn’t look anything like a Chicago pizza, but looks excellent in its own right! 🙂

  • Question- my Trader’s Joe’s pizza dough (in the NE) clearly lists L-Cysteine as an ingredient. Is it different in other parts of the U.S.?

  • Somebody left a comment like this before on another pizza post. I checked the TJs dough in studio city, and it definitely didn’t contain l-cysteine. This was about 2 months ago.

  • Guess I’ll be making my own dough!

  • I am originally from Chicago and this looks delicious. I’ve made my own renditions of the deep dish, but I definitely need corn meal in mine.

  • Holy crap that looks awesome!

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