Welcome to the month of February, where 93% of New Year’s resolutions come to die.
I mean, can you honestly admit to not having fallen off the wagon all year? If so then I’m super happy for you, you’re an incredible individual with astonishing willpower. For those of us living in a more realistic world though, this is where the line between strictly healthy food and cravings for chocolate starts to get a little bit blurred.
As far as pizzas are conscerned though, this one isn’t too bad. It’s got some pretty undeniably healthy toppings. It’s where the cheese and yeasty bread crust come in that we start approaching that tipping point. But like I said, it’s February dudes, that fact negates these little nuances.
I feel like this is the first Monday in months that I can sit back and say that I had a relatively uneventful weekend. My food making mode was on overdrive for so many days all week that by the time it got to Friday I was starting to get backed up on food. In a house with as many people as mine, that doesn’t happen easily, let me tell you. I was even able to do all the prep for our typical pizza night the day before so that on Saturday I just had to assemble them and bake. It was a gloriously easy meal and to top it off, most of the gang went out for the day so I had the whole kitchen to myself. It was a lovely thing.
You see, usually pizza night gets really crazy with people coming in and out for hot pieces and seconds and I’m shuffling to try to find clean counter space to work. This time it was quiet and peaceful so I took advantage of this fact and made a new flavor to share. We’ve got so many varieties of fresh fruits in season right now that it would seem crazy for it not to be ending up on pizzas. My crazy brothers have also been loving the fact that I have to keep making smoothies daily to prevent it all from spoiling. They can drink smoothies as faster than I can make them so that’s always a great way to use up the extras.
So this isn’t you’re typical pizza (obviously), but I was really happy with how it turned out. I debated for a while between whether to go with creamy or basic red sauce, but then I realized that I hardly ever do red so it seemed like a good choice. The step of roasting the peaches and onions with balsamic before putting it on the pizza, may seem like a pain if you’re in a hurry, but it gives the best flavor ever! I also have this thing for adding crunchy nuts to pizza, it’s so good! My instinct would usually have been to reach for some fresh basil to top this off, but since I was out of basil I went with my second choice of fresh cilantro. I’m thinking that I’m kind of glad I did because it gave the pizza a unique finishing touch and added that fresh summery punch of flavor needed to push this pizza to double yumness!
This would be a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner to surprise you’re sweetheart with and it would also be a great addition to your Super Bowl party. Or, you could simply make it because it’s a really great pizza flavor to switch up from the usual.
Balsamic Roasted Peach, Almond, & Cilantro Pizza (Vegan)
There are more topping possibilities for pizza than you may have thought and this pizza's here to prove it.
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 talespoons sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups all-purpose flour
- corn flour for pan optional
- 2 medium peaches peeled if desired and sliced (seeds removed)
- 1 small onion thinly sliced into rings
- 1/3 cup raw almonds
- 3 - 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 cup marinara or your favorite pizza sauce
- 4 ounces about 1 cup shredded vegan cheese optional
- 1 large handful of fresh cilantro leaves
Stir water, sugar, and yeast together until yeast is dissolved and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in salt and oil until combined. Add whole wheat flour + 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes, adding a bit more flour until the dough pulls away from the surface. It should be smooth and resilient. Place in oiled bowl and cover, then place in warm place to rise until doubled in size.
While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200C). Line a baking pan with foil (or simply grease if preferred) and spread peach slices, onions, and almonds out evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and about 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Roast in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring halfway, until the peaches and onions start to darken and smell amazing. Remove from oven and let pan cool for a few moments while you prep your crust. Roll the pizza dough out into a circle that's roughly 1/4 inch thick and dust a pizza pan with flour or corn flour and place crust on pan. Spread marinara sauce and sprinkle cheese an an even layer. Top cheese with your roasted peaches, onions, and almonds. Sprinkle with a bit more balsamic, salt, pepper, and about half of the cilantro.
Bake pizza for 20 to 25 minutes until edges are golden and cheese is well melted and browning on top. Remove from oven and top with remaining fresh cilantro. Cool for about 5 minutes before cutting, then slice and serve hot!